Family Portrait
Sariev Gallery / PLOVDIV (Bulgaria)
15.02.2020 – 28.03.2020

Dimitar Genchev's paintings often appear close to explosion. Colours, textures and images intertwine and race to a point of saturation, of boiling, which the artist manages to skilfully master before it is too late. Standing thus on its edge are also the visual worlds in the paintings which he created especially for the Family Portrait exhibition at Sariev Gallery.

In the new works, the central place is occupied by the human body, for him the most perfect creation of nature and one of the greatest challenges for the artist tasked with recreating such perfection. Far from any academic approaches, Genchev explores it in its most perfect naturalness, that of accidentally captured moments as in Georgi’s Portrait or a summer day at the beach as in Nicole. A naturalness that is inherent in the old photo albums, whose concealed, slumberous nostalgia is perceived in the works themselves. However, Dimitar Genchev does not like the specificity of the figure extracted from the photograph. Its density becomes a burden, and the pure image from the photograph – dissatisfaction. The recreation of photographs in his works gives way to their incorporation, element by element, into a new imagery. Its construction begins with the light of the afternoon sun, which describes and creates the bodies in space. It continues with the creation of contrasts between the tenderness of the figure and the rough structure of other elements such as clothes, plants and sometimes machines. Finally, it concludes with the mixing of a hyperrealism with an absolute, pure abstraction. Or the whole process reversed.

For Genchev, technique is determinative. The figures and spaces emerging on the canvas, as well as the feel of different textures or of depth, were created by him by layering and blurring the images or, all the more, with the use, among other techniques, of epoxy resin with its glossy finish on individual elements. Drawing, in his words, “normal, everyday things”, the artist did not hesitate to break this normality by intertwining fundamentally incompatible images. It is those “anomalies” that act hypnotically and immerse the eyes in a pursuit with a vague ending, from which it becomes difficult to disengage.

Yet, in Family Portrait Dimitar Genchev transformed the personal stories from borrowed photographs into visual ones. Stories that he invented gradually, going through different, sometimes “dramatic’ in his words, stages. Stories of contrasts between colours, between textures, between spaces, between lights and shadows. The painter who seeks to displace the boundaries of painting has also displaced those of the image.

Desislava Mileva

The exhibition is presented simultaneously on two different locations - at Sariev Gallery and at the artist's studio between February 15th and March 28th and will display new works by the artist from the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020. Dimitar Genchev is an artist who lives and works in Plovdiv and in 2019 he was one of the painters featured in the exhibition BACKGROUND: Young Artists from Plovdiv by Sariev Gallery.

All images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Sariev Gallery