Her art emerges live, right in front of the audience, just like real life is – with no rehearsal. Bulgarian artist Vanessa Katrin paints inside Italian palaces, concert halls and even monasteries. The images on the canvas are always a reflection of her soul.
The young artist that captures the Italian public with her performances is the only Bulgarian who will participate in the closing exhibition of the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale, 2018. She has been selected among 6,000 applicants globally to improvise on canvas for the people who will gather in the Zenobio baroque museum on July 10th.
“I will present the Chiave di lettura (Key to interpretation of reality) performance. To put it simple, this is the key to what makes us move forward and be loyal to ourselves,” the young lady says. “However, we need to realize who we are on the first place. We must get rid of anything superficial, reaching our true self, in order to do what we feel right.”
Vanessa’s first performance was born three years ago – she painted a lady’s silhouette from the back. The message that she sent was so full of emotions that the audience cried. “When I saw the tears in the eyes of those people, I realized that I had managed to touch their souls and transfer my feelings,” the artist says.
“My characters are often seen from behind, as the message is stronger this way. I don’t care if the lady is beautiful or not, or if she has blue or brown eyes – because I am interested by the inner thing, not the surface – the charisma, movements, speech and gestures. I have always looked for the inner feeling. My performances are a symbiosis of painting, theatre, dance and music. Whenever I am successful in my work, the forms themselves radiate music and create poetry. I start with an empty piece of canvas and I interpret my feelings on the spur of the moment – that is why critics often call me ‘the soul artist’. By introducing a looking glass I sometimes create the so-called circle of vibration while painting, so that the energy radiated by me can go into the painting and later on – into the people around. Thus we all vibrate with the same frequency.”
Vanessa Katrin says she has been an artist ‘since always’. Her first own exhibition was at the age of five in her birthplace – the city of Plovdiv and one of her childhood drawings even reached the private collection of late Pope John Paul II. After her artistic graduation Vanessa went to Verona and was initiated at the atelier of famous maestro Athos Faccincani. Museums followed next, the Florence Bargello among them, also the Firenze Art Gallery – hence the decision to ‘work painting full time, 24/7’.
The artist says that today’s revolutionaries are those people who dare to stand against the commercial trends and adds that she is one of them. That is why she does not hesitate to grab the spontaneous idea of leaving a blank piece of canvas and creating performance with her mind only. “We find ourselves in front of a white piece of canvas often in life – prior to a selection of a choice, given that we have any freedom at all, of course,” Vanessa Katrin says. So, the perfection of a picture is not what matters, but the emotion and love that it passes on. Just a simple flower, a word or gesture can all be work of art, but it strongly depends on who does it, and how, and why, Vanessa goes on to say.
Despite being a citizen of the world, Vanessa states that she feels her roots. No wonder if she decides to climb one of the famous Plovdiv ‘tepeta’ hills one day, in order to tell a compelling story on canvas – for instance the one of the Boyana master, who painted the murals inside a small mountain church back in the 13th c. as if he had hunched the European Renaissance coming.
English version: Zhivko StanchevPhotos: courtesy of Vanessa Katrin