Mythological paths in the world of small sculpture

Author:
The leader
Photo: Veneta Pavlova

An interesting and filled with messages exhibition can be seen in the Nuance city gallery. Its author - Assoc. Prof. Kiril Mateev of the National Academy of Arts, titled it "... on the road." The exhibition includes sculptures and drawings. He says that the title is a coincidence, although he likes Kerouac’s novel. "On the Road." is actually a very appropriate name because one sees the path of a work from its spiritual conception to realization The drafts for the sculpture are shown next to the sculptures.

Interestingly, drawings and sculpture are not quite identical and they bring different atmosphere and impact; each has its own nuance. The artist says that the exhibition is retrospective, showing what he experience in life along his path of an artist. Over the years he worked on a variety of topics and subjects. But with a smile he adds that his best work is his son.

Temptation and Doubt

"I have always been interested in the human being,” Kiril Mateev says. “Man is the protagonist in my work. But it is not necessary to depict the human body in an absolutely realistic way, because the soul is something deeper than what is seen outside. That is how I see things. I've done all kinds of sculptures, as well as more abstract things are very few in number. I needed to create them and I did. But more or less, each abstract work starts again from the proportions of a human figure and the feelings it creates."

Works in the exhibition are based on biblical topics, but they are unusual in their personal and sometimes bizarre interpretation. For example, the artist reflects on the sin of Judah. He betrayed Jesus, but this betrayal was needed, so that the Son of God could suffer on the cross for man's sins. More from the artist about the eternal themes of temptation, doubt, sin, and the meaning of the cross?

"I thought that despite the efforts of some people to unite people in one faith, the cross may also be a border between societies in the world. I have been thinking about how religions can unite and divide people. I have been thinking about doubt and truth. That is what I put in my works. And yet - for the late return to the roots and the relatives. I experienced this when my father passed away. And then I realized how many good things I did not tell him.”

The Cross - sculpture and sketch

What does Kiril Mateev often tell his students?

"I mostly tell them that one must want something very much in order to achieve it. When you sacrifice something for the sake of your dreams sooner or later it will pay off. I tell them that a man who truly takes the path of an artist, sooner or later achieves this. I always quote a Chinese proverb: ‘when you make your hobby a profession, there will be no working days in your life’."

Why is it important for the artist that the finished work remains a little vague?

“Well, because it's like love,” he says. "Saying directly ‘I love you’ will be boring but showing it in some other way is great." Kiril Mateev has been dreaming lately of creating series of wooden sculptures.

The works of Kiril Mateev are owned by all major galleries in the country and they are also part of private collections in many foreign countries.

English: Alexander Markov

Photos taken from the exhibition: Veneta Pavlova
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