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STILIYAN DICHEV

CAR PORTRAITS

( See exhibition )

curator: Yovo Panchev

12 March - 22 March 2014

444, Slivnitza Blvd., Sofia

Moto Pfohe showroom

“Characteristic for one form is that each piece of information pertaining to it gets exhausted the very moment it physically places itself in space” – Robert Morris, minimalist painter

The big clash between the design and the visual art often gets determined by functionality or by the manner in which the substance is treated. At first glance it might seem so, but there is another point of view on this matter. It is related to the perception to the object’s design and the attitude of a person towards it – his sensation, reaction and emotion.

The automobile has long had its emblematic role in contemporary culture. It comprises socio-cultural theorem with numerous associations and functions. The automobile is protagonist in the life of a modern person, a main character, a factor for determining one’s place within society, a controversial symbol of progress. With all its advantages and shortcomings, in its constantly enriched nature, the automobile appears as something closer and closer to the human, it becomes part of his own being, a way for him to portray his individuality. The historical comparisons with the horse are inevitable. The horse’s character is personified, it carries a name and serves his duty loyally, but it also represents its owner, it brings him a social status.

Through the classical approach of the portrait as a genre, which depicts and builds a holistic and not just a synthetic, but also a cultural image, Stiliyan Dichev addresses a very current topic. Those “subjects of personification and anthropomorphism” through the author’s way of recreation are released from the material. In this way, the emphasis falls on the character and the object’s spirit, on this personified technological slave. Here the important point is to avoid the direct association with particular subjects and to seek the backward-inverted process with its already materialized structure, with an object, which is as much idealized as it is conditional.

The displayed brands and models present not just a classic luxurious automobile with an aristocratic British appearance, but they also allow for the artistic examination into their own spirit, separated from the substance – a hallmark of a very special status. A legendary status corresponding to a social role which does not get simply granted, but it gets gained by means of attitude and determination. This more specific feel assists the author to synthesize the necessary presence, radiance, style, approach, tenderness; the typical glow, captured in the character of the model, just like the accentuated figure of a person posting for a portrait. To paint such a portrait is not an easy task.

Yovo Panchev