BULGARIA ART

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SOFIA TRANSFORMED

Even the casual walker through the streets of Sofia will immediately notice the many eyesores dotting the city. Death notices and small ads compete for space on lamp posts. Derelict buildings cohabit with rusty newspaper stands and stalls of street vendors selling cheap socks and underwear. Rubbish blooms in the planters originally meant for greenery.

Tue, 10/30/2012 - 13:06
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ALBERT KAHN'S BULGARIA

An exhibition of early 20th Century photography, The Archives of the Planet, has been the talk of the town throughout the summer. The exhibition, curated by noted Bulgarian photographer Ivo Hadzhimishev and organised by the French Embassy and the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture, was on display at the National Art Gallery in Sofia, and is scheduled to travel to Sozopol, Varna, Dobrich, Veliko Tarnovo, Elena, Plovdiv and Stara Zagora.

Wed, 09/07/2011 - 13:27
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BULGARIA BACK IN TIME

The first surprise comes when you look at the pictures. This is another Bulgaria, with mellower light, sombre people and the nostalgic atmosphere of the 1950s. Little details like a chipped pavement or a drab house have been turned into a backdrop for the people who feature in almost every picture. The result is outstanding. Warm and realistic, the pictures make you want to take in the world through these eyes.

Thu, 10/28/2010 - 16:34
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ENCHANTED WORLDS

You rarely see wall cupboards like the one in Gayatri Manchanda's studio. From its depths the petite woman produces, one after another, canvases that portray the domes of St Vasiliy the Blessed Cathedral in Moscow, blue wild donkeys in a greenand- red landscape, a couple of abstract compositions, portraits of women, and a landscape with copper-red buildings against the backdrop of a black sky through which soars a golden aeroplane.

Sun, 06/20/2010 - 15:35
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NORTHERN SEAS

For at least four months of the year the Black Sea coast is riddled with tourists, beach-goers and campers. Many people have been put off visiting the coastline – some because of the drastic overcrowding, others because of the newly-built concrete hotels of mammoth proportions that spring up all along the shore.

Mon, 06/14/2010 - 12:49
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Britta Morisse Pimentel

THINKING AT THE EDGE

Have you ever wondered how you would describe Bulgarian culture or young Bulgarians? If you think the question too philosophical, see German photographer Britta Morisse Pimentel's recipe.

A "vagabond" in her soul, Britta Morisse Pimentel arrived in Bulgaria in April 2009 at the suggestion of a friend. For the German, who is a graduate of the New York Institute of Photography, this wasn't her first plunge into the vibrancy of another country. She had lived in the US and in Brazil for some time and won the São Paulo Critics' Association award for one of her photo essays.

Wed, 04/07/2010 - 12:16
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THE WORLD OF LP

It is difficult to surprise anybody in Facebook, but photographer Antoan Bozhinov (a regular presence in Vagabond) has managed to do it. This tall, well-built man, who dwarfs the spacious rooms of our publishing office, put in his profile a picture where he is surrounded by a dozen "Little People."

Remarkably, no one looks different to anyone else in the picture.

Thu, 02/18/2010 - 13:21
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ANGELS OVER SOFIA

Angels and junk: it takes an unusual mind to bridge the gap. But Magdalena Miteva certainly has that. She is involved in many projects: she puts on puppet theatre for adults, a somewhat neglected art in Bulgaria, makes lamps and decorates clubs and cafeÅLs with her ideas.

Wed, 02/17/2010 - 15:04
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LOVE IT OR HATE IT

If chalga and art were members of the same family, they would be distant cousins that don't get on well and hardly speak to each other. Significantly, relations became strained not when chalga first appeared but when it became a lucrative industry.

There is not a single pop or rock singer in Bulgaria who can rival the big chalga stars in terms of concert proceeds, CD sales, fees and advertising contracts. The tension surfaced officially in the 1990s, when Communist-era pop icon Vasil Naydenov led a doomed assault on pop folk.

Fri, 05/01/2009 - 17:23
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BULGARIAN SOUVENIR

Sexy girls in folklore costumes against a background of blue mountains and roses... isn't that a publicity stunt designed by one of the genius publicists of Bulgaria's National Tourism Agency and paid for with government money? Do look closer, however, and you'll catch a glimpse of some naughty lingerie and garters underneath. No, that cannot be Aneliya Krushkova's invention – and certainly the establishment, which has recently learned some lessons in modern art appreciation, won't approve.

Sun, 03/01/2009 - 11:29
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Greddy Assa

GREDDY ASSA

Born in 1954 into a Jewish family in Pleven, Greddy Assa graduated from the Art Department at Veliko Tarnovo University with a degree in mural painting. Between 2000 and 2004 he was associate dean of the National Art Academy and to this day remains one of the most highly respected professors there. His paintings are in the Holocaust Museum in Washington and in the Bundestag in Berlin, as well as in galleries in Tel Aviv, Aachen and elsewhere. He has had solo exhibits in Germany, Hungary, Austria, Sweden and Switzerland. He recently returned from a one-man show in Beijing.

Thu, 01/01/2009 - 13:23
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Jean-Marc Caracci

HOMO URBANUS

If you would rather watch seaside landscapes, snow-capped mountains, lush green valleys or deep forests, look elsewhere. Jean-Marc Caracci has focused on the urban setting as a frame for his surrealist portraits of Europeans. Ignoring political definitions, he has been travelling across the continent's capitals taking pictures of the people who live in them.

Thu, 01/01/2009 - 13:08
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Willem van Ee

SEE SOME WRITING ON THE WALL

Willem van Ee has been ambassador of The Netherlands in Bulgaria since 2005, with less than a year to go. He believes in an EU with a human face, meaning that the European project is primarily for all of us peoples and citizens. Van Ee thinks that the colourful walls on the buildings in Sofia, which are part of the Dutch-inspired Wall-to-Wall Poetry project, will stimulate people's minds and make them believe that although every country is different, we are all united by the shared European values.

Thu, 01/01/2009 - 11:50
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