El Aumento – The Expand

2023 -  "Rakursi" gallery - Sofia/Bulgaria.
Valentin Bakardjiev was born in Bulgaria. His life and creative path started from Sliven, where he graduated from the Dimitar Dobrovich Art High School. He then lived and worked in the Dominican Republic and Italy. He has been living and working in Amsterdam for the last 15 years. At Rakursi Art Gallery he presents the exhibition "El Aumento - The Expand", provoked by his personal searches related to the study of the creative inspiration. The works in the exhibition are created from his "old" paintings, which he transforms into new works by cutting them into pieces. These pieces are then put back together like a puzzle. The "new" works rise figuratively and literally, as from a two-dimensional canvas, Valentin Bakardjiev creates three-dimensional objects, using the volume of a three-dimensional figure - a pyramid - as a basis. Multiplied, these pyramids intensify the feeling of the vibration of the canvas itself. At the same time, parts of the old canvases can still be recognized in them – an eye, hand, face, but constructed in a new way and carrying a new meaning, for a different overlay of stories, rearranged, like a harmonious mosaic that sets off the viewer to new journeys.

About the exhibition the artist says:

“In 2016 I started working on this upcycle art project, which originated from my conviction that the figurative paintings I had made in the past did not have the right form and shape anymore. I decided to cut up these paintings, to stop doing what the public expected from me, and become the artist that I wanted to be. So I destroyed my oil paintings and reused them to create a new art series. I transformed my figurative art into abstract art, where all the symbols are repositioned and yet remain recognizable.’’

Valentin Bakardjiev has a number of solo exhibitions in Paris, Amsterdam, Geneva, Shanghai, Milan and Chicago. This is his fourth solo exhibition in Bulgaria in the last two years. In 2023, he also presented his project "Indigo" at the State Cultural Institute at the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sofia, Bulgaria.

Some of his recent participations in various international forums are:

Le Grand Bleu “Planet Nine - The Missing Planet” selected for participation in The 7th Riga International Triennial Tradition & Innovation: QUO VADIS, in the summer of 2023.

Le Grand Bleu “d’Earth” selected for participation in the  International Biennial for Paper Fiber Art, Earth Speak: Giving Voice to Paper 2023/24 At the National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute NTCRI, Nantou, Taiwan. And the exhibition "THE POWER", Alina Art Foundation in Torino, Italy.

This year he has another solo exhibition coming in October "El Camino - The Road" at the Embassy of Mexico, with the support of the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in the Netherlands, The Hague.

- curator Dr. Mila Stareyshinska-Angelova

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