Art, // April 16, 2021

Tanya Angelova — ARTIST

Tanya Angelova

Interview with artist Tanya Angelova —


1. Who are you and what do you do? Why art?
I was born in Bulgaria. I have lived in Paris, France, for the last 18 years. Art has been part of my life from the very beginning. I graduated from an arts high school and then from the Academy of Fine Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria. During my short stay at Cité Internationale des Arts, I discovered that artistic life in Paris is very dynamic and thus decided to stay. Art is my way of life and the abstract is my way of expression. The idea of the abstract is what draws attention to philosophical reasoning and universal truths that carry the message and footprints of human action.


“Shapes 9”


2. Why art?
I grew up with Art, music and performing arts. It was quite natural for me to follow that path.

3. What is your earliest memory of wanting to be an artist?
I don’t remember.


“Black and ten 38”


4. What are your favorite subject(s) and media(s)?
Every day I ask myself the following questions about creating: “Where do I start, with what do I end?” The trace is the key element that holds together my approach to art. First, there are the traces in one’s memory that create configurations of what is left of the moments lived, the places visited, and the faces encountered. Then there is the trace as a drawn line, a dash, a chromatic element or a plastic fragment. The themes in my works accentuate the inner reflection of the world experienced outwardly. It is a conception that hovers between the abstract and the figurative, just like the stuff memories are made of.


“Black and ten 32”


Everything in nature is subject to transformation, and so is the search. “In creating, I am inspired by the desire to transform, confront and mix different fabrics and materials. I sew the canvas in order to assert my presence, as an emotional gesture.” To go further, I ask “only” to be my truest self. This transformation is everyone’s quest. An improvisation which brings back and fuses the classic approach and the alternative approach, thus manifesting the tendency to blur the lines among the different genres. Focused on a problem of expression, basically how to explore the plastic element beyond its representation by recognizable shapes. The Abstract is my universe, the universal language. A new way of addressing my feminine side. Questioning – the limits of the observable, of the world’s presence, of the way of inhabiting it.


“Black and ten 29”


5. How do you work and approach your subject?
As an artist of gesture and fabric, using the brush and the spatula, the needle and the thread, all engrossed in the mystery of the transparency of raw silk, I pierce the surface of the canvas – stitch after stitch – I sew down my thoughts and emotions.

Sewing is a gesture of the feminine principle.
The thread that has a beginning and an end – just like everything in this world.
The thread – a symbol of creation.
All of this, taken together, is me.
The fabric and the image give way to gestures and symbols.


“Black and ten 24”


6. What are your favorite art work(s), artist(s)?
The way of thinking, and not the way of doing, guides me. That is why there is no favorite person I can name, but there are thoughts and ideas that are close to me. For example:

Gerhard Richter says: “All landscapes are ultimately abstract paintings”.
Henri Matisse – “Learn, so that it would be easier to unlearn. Master, in order to free yourself.”
Kiki Smith – “All the history of the world resides within your body.”
I understand that, these ideas are close to me. I don’t need to ask them questions. Such is my philosophy. I find exciting intelligent esthetics. I am not interested in the circumstances of the specific. The details speak of another habitat and of another viewpoint.

The seasons as change
The motion of time
Transience as the spirit of the matter.


“Black and ten 28”


7. What are the best responses you have had to your work?
A gallery owner once said to me: “Leave this series aside to settle for a while, the public is not yet ready to understand it. ”


“Black and ten 1”


8. What do you like about your work?
The artists’ narcissistic side is pretty well developed. We love ourselves, we ove all that we do. When the painting is finished, usually we like everything about it and we can defend even the smallest detail – its reason for existing, its place and its explanation. I work in series and the name I give to the series is not that important to me. Naming an abstract emotion doesn’t much matter to me. Everyone is free to get their bearings within themselves and to call the image as they see fit. With collectors we talk about gesture, emotion, structure, and the power of minimalist expression. That black is the absence of color in the color-spectrum. The colorless hue. And at the same time it symbolizes the absence that is present or perhaps the presence that is absent.
The themes are philosophical, esthetic.


“Black and ten 5”


That the spectator has a hard time determining whether it was a man or a woman who created the work – in an expressive and energetic masculine way, or in a precise and warm feminine way, exuding comfort (via sewing, embroidery with thread). The good thing about the abstract is that each person can seek and discover their own thoughts and interpretations, related to their own emotions and experiences. I only encourage the person (the collector) to find himself or herself in my works.


“Black and ten 3”


9. What advice would you give to other artists?
Draw with the heart, not with the hands or the eyes.


“Black and ten 34”


10. Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
Where I will be fully prepared, loved and happy.



Tanya Angelova





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