Black Paintings of Cheerful Events
Iskra Blagoeva :: 21.11 - 14.12 :: 2019

Iskra Blagoeva
Black Paintings of Cheerful Events
Contemporary Space Gallery, Varna

November 21 – December 14, 2019, Opening: November 21 (Thursday), 7:00 p.m.

Black Paintings of Cheerful Events is a series of five paintings created over the last few years and with its very title it alludes to conflicting meanings and mixed feelings. Iskra Blagoeva started working on the series back in 2015,  but now the paintings can be viewed for the first time in a common space, together with the just-completed Lilith And Eve Gambling Over Adam and Covering Your Genitals With Leaves Is Not Enough.

There is no trend in contemporary painting to which Iskra Blagoeva’s manner can be attributed. Ever since her studies at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, she has established a drawing technique that is unlike anything that is modern, well-received, or easily sold. Her method of painting can be rather described as “graphic” and related to the art of the East. It does not follow the technical rules for creating a composition, laying paint, or positioning the canvas on an easel. She paints female faces the way makeup is done. The way the artist arranges lighting at an exhibition is as if lighting a boudoir. When working with objects she has to cut something out, she uses a scalpel.

Whether making paintings or other arts, Iskra Blagoeva works with a wide range of symbols that combine various stages of world culture. These symbols come from the sexually-liberated, and yet admitting extreme cruelty, ancient mythology; or from medieval piety responsible for the loss of many women’s rights. The artist also uses the symbols of modernity coming from fashion, boredom, alienation, the fast-paced lifestyle and lack of spirituality. Gathering all these references together, for a long time, Iskra Blagoeva has been developing and maintaining the topic of women’s rights, which remains relevant, regardless of the progress of the world and despite the three or four waves in the development of feminism. However, Iskra Blagoeva differs from most of the artist activists, who literally translate feminist doctrine into an image word for word. She builds on the meaning and makes contribution as if she were writing a dissertation. Women’s rights in her work are exaggerated – her characters not only have rights, but they have more rights than they are entitled to outside the world of art they inhabit. They can be angry, hysterical and take vengeance. They can be “bitches” and there is no law to blame them for that.

Instead of bio:
The works of Iskra Blagoeva bear hidden references to the artist’s life  – gambling, Japanese culture, engagement rings, etc. When it comes to her work, the term “second sex” should refer to the sex of men – her territory, her rules. On the inside of her lower lip the word „сука“ (“suka”  is the Russian word for “bitch”) is tattooed.  In the gym, she is probably the only artist of both sexes who does special exercises aimed at the fine mechanics of the right wrist to keep her hand confident. She does not use the image of the middle finger in her works since it is an appalling cliché and a macho gesture. The middle finger sign may show up on Facebook, but never on paintings. It has been replaced with the gesture of the thumb placed between the index finger and the middle finger and establishes it as the “new black”.

Daniela Radeva

The exhibition is part of the Kreo Kultura Foundation Project PAINTING DOES NOT REPLACE DIVERSE DIET curatet by Daniela Radeva and realised with the financial support of the Culture Fund of the Municipality of Varna.

Media partners of the project are:
ARTizanin Magazine, Portal Culture and Urban-mag