Artist Chavdar Ghiuselev decapitates worldly vanity

One of the most prestigious galleries in Sofia, Rakursi Art Gallery, presents the exhibition Free Flying Heads - paintings and graphics by Chavdar Ghiuselev, an artist well-known in Bulgaria and Italy. After several delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, the exposition successfully coincides with the artist's 60th anniversary.

“Chavdar Ghiuselev's graphics and paintings offer an unexpected and rather intriguing meeting with a person whom I don't know at all,” says stage and film director Javor Gardev about the artworks included in the exhibition. “It is like meeting a person whom I don't even suspect that is hiding in Chavdar Ghiuselev. A different person. A completely unknown to me, lurking person, well hidden, carefully disguised and entirely unrecognisable in the social persona of Chavdar Ghiuselev. In the free flying heads hovering in his graphics triumphs the decapitated worldly vanity, at the expense of universal tranquillity that slows down time, while my favourite of his paintings sagely contemplate landscapes emptied of annoying human presence that keep their quiet and unobtrusive secrets within.”

And one more review of the artist's work and personality, by culturologist Georgi Lozanov: “Chavdar Ghiuselev is a right-wing liberal, which is not an expression of a political stance (he is an artist), and much less of an economic one (he is above that), but of his ability to overcome, on his own and “in situ”, an increasingly aggressively imposed false contradiction. Chocho (Chavdar) is tolerant, subversive and ironic, he is like an electron - never in the same place in his art and his life. At the same time, he exposes the left-wing illusion of equality, the proletarian revolt of the minorities, and the feminist reductionism of desires. In his paintings, this is done by convincingly playing the role of a modernist - deformation, alienation, resistance, without forgetting for a moment that the game is a privilege of the postmodern relativism. In his scenography, it is done by disciplining spatial constructions, which the arbitrariness of the performance ironises, and they ironise it back. In his photography, it happens by constantly photographing the intolerable negligence of everyday life, until it becomes a joyful visual exclamation that we exist and we are what we cannot help but be. Chocho looks reclusive and even a little haughty, but I know that if I ask him what is the most important thing in the world, he will answer me - to have someone to ask.”

Chavdar Ghiuselev was born on 13 March 1961 in Sofia. In 1987, he graduated from the National Academy of Arts in Sofia, specialising in Illustration and Layout of the Book. He works in the field of graphic design, illustration, television and theatrical stage design. He is a lecturer at New Bulgarian University's Department of Visual Arts.

He has held a large number of solo exhibitions, including in Parma, Milan, Berlin, Prague, Vienna and Sofia, and in Rakursi Art Gallery in 2017, 2014, 2012.

The exhibition is open to visitors until 20 March 2021.

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