The human soul - an inside look

Little Bird Place Gallery in Sofia is presenting yet another journey - this time into the depths of the human soul, using as vehicle the paintings of Kalina Hristova. Her solo exhibition Transformation opened on 21 April and can be seen until 15 May.

“The paintings presented in my current exhibition continue my visual research in the field of portrait painting, entering into even deeper emotional experiences that each person hides in themselves. Human emotions and states of mind are one of the main themes in my work that I have been working on for the last 10 years. What we carry as emotional baggage is not visible to the naked eye, it is not always transparent, and it may remain hidden forever. This makes me ambitious in my desire to illustrate the human soul in depth, most often diving into my own, and sometimes I even manage to go directly through someone's 'beautiful' or 'ugly' shell to reach its unadulterated essence. I am looking for the roots of human nature, which are entangled in the threads of our personal demons. Both flowers and weeds grow in human nature. Which of the two prevails in the flora of our soul depends on how we take care of this lush vegetation. The portraits I paint are not a reflection of reality, the images are imaginary, but nevertheless they are carriers of truth concentrated in the portrait variations of the mental states of the mind,” the artist says of her works.
Kalina Hristova is an artist, graphic artist, illustrator and longtime lecturer at New Bulgarian University, head of the Department of Fine Arts since 2020. She graduated from the National Academy of Arts in Sofia with a Bachelor degree in Graphics, after which she continued in the Master's programme Graphic Design at NBU. Her specialisation took place in the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts (Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien).
Her creative projects are in the field of poster, classical and digital illustration techniques, and graphic technologies, and her research interests are mainly related to the theory and historical aspects of graphic and communicative design. The posters, paintings, graphics and illustrations she creates are meant to make you smile, but also to think about some forgotten things like the human nature, the value of moral values and the grotesque in communication.

Kalina Hristova has diverse research in the field of graphics and in the acrylic painting techniques as well. She is a recognisable author of portrait graphic drawings, colour graphics and illustration. As an active artist and teacher, art is a form of communication not only during lectures in a university environment, but also in social activities and campaigns in which she often participates. She works on social campaigns carried out together with government institutions and business representatives, as well as on campaigns related to human trafficking, aimed at attracting public attention through visual language and communication. She is frequently taking part in group and solo exhibitions in Bulgaria, Austria, Germany, Serbia, Spain and the Czech Republic.

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