"A great number of Sofia's artists are of European and world status, and by that I mean people from all spheres of art"
You don't need to be born somewhere to become a part of it, as the career of artist Deyan Valkov shows. Born 42 years ago in Silistra, he graduated from the National Fine Arts School and the Arts Academy in Sofia, specialising in mural painting. Since then, Deyan has turned Bulgaria's capital into the centre of his work, which takes him to the rest of Bulgaria and abroad.
Tell us something about your work – what have you done in the past?
A lot of things. In the tumultuous 1990s, while I was trying to make it into the academy, I worked in advertising. While at the academy, I was doing art shows and selling paintings to supplement my studies. I was also commissioned to decorate a number of hotels, private residences and restaurants with murals.
Since 1997 I have been having solo exhibitions in various galleries in Bulgaria and abroad. In 2011, I spent two months in France, based in the Cité Internationale Des Arts Paris. This period had an enormous positive impact on my artistic life, as it provided me with the precious opportunity to enrich my understanding of art and the art scene.
Drawing is my first and greatest passion in life. I am so full of ideas and energy for organising new solo exhibitions and for participating in general in art shows and projects.
What are you doing at the moment?
I am currently in Andalusia, Spain. My head is buzzing with ideas for an exhibition with large-scale colour-filled paintings. I will do my best not to reveal any influence by Dalí and Picasso ‒ which is hard, as they both hold the copyright on colour here.
I have already booked a gallery in Sofia for this one.
Can you give us three reasons why Sofia should be the European Capital of Culture in 2019?
My first reason is Sofia's age. It is an old European city, it is beautiful and is becoming even more beautiful. It has everything it needs to fulfil such a role, has all the right ingredients. Sadly, most of the people are so overwhelmed with the difficulties of everyday life and the economic crisis that they barely notice it.
Second, I think, are the artists in Sofia. A great number of them are of European and world status, and by that I mean people from all spheres of art.
My third reason is the unique chance for the Bulgarian state administration to support the arts. It has not done this for a long time. Now, with that project, it is the right time to direct some international attention to Bulgarian art, and to create a positive image of it. This will also help Bulgarian artists.
As far as I am concerned, great art is impossible without strong support. It is just impossible! Remember all those great art objects from Antiquity? Actually, they are what brings these long-gone times back to us. They show us what their creators were like, what they were thinking about. All this is possible today, because back then there were the patrons! Being a patron is not only about the money, the sponsorship. It is about having a group of people with an interest in the arts, with the knowledge and the ability to recognise great art. Let Bulgaria become a patron of the arts.
This project has been cofunded by the Culture 2012 Programme of the Sofia Municipality in support for the Sofia nomination for the European Capital of Culture for 2019
SOFIA – CANDIDATE FOR EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE 2019