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Nasimo, a leading Bulgarian graffiti artist

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Photo: private archive

From tags in the streets, through brief stays in the local police station, university and all the way to bright, memorable graffiti in the streets of Bulgaria, Canada, Germany and Russia... This is how the legend Nasimowas born, one of the most popular artists in the Bulgarian graffiti scene.

Nasimo is the pseudonym of Stanislav Trifonov. Due to the specifics of their art street artists do not use their original names. Nasimo got so involved in this genre that he even graduated painting from Veliko Tarnovo University. The opposition that he met from his parents at the start of his career was another curious moment in his life:

"In the beginning my parents opposed my choice. Only later they found out that people like my works. Finally, they realized that this is a job like any other job. There is certain mistrust in people where the word 'graffiti” is concerned. Some think we are simply ruffians smearing their doors.”

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Today the graffiti of Nasimo,are on display on facades of buildings but also in home interiors, on clothes in the street style and even in galleries. Graffiti artists go on experimenting, and often combine their style with painting.

How do audiences respond to your works when these are displayed in a gallery?

"Graffiti is like any other art, like cubism or surrealism. It might be that way back, curators wondered how such works would be digested in a gallery. In the beginning, it was widely assumed that graffiti is the art of streets. But after all, if you use a canvas for them, why not mount the canvas in a gallery? What's wrong with developing a slightly different style, in a different environment? Graffiti provide a very precise portrayal of the present-day due to their social content. Their message is relevant in the context of the world's current affairs.”

It seems that urban walls have become the most accessible gallery these days and a strong channel of communication too. „Graffiti incorporate encoded messages. One has to watch out for them”.

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Where is Bulgaria heading to?

"We won't reach far, if we follow the leaders that we have elected so far. We have to think twice and elect worthy leaders able to inspire Bulgaria for a better future.”

How should Bulgarians change?

"First of all, they have to know themselves better. Anybody unaware of their roots is in a deadlock. This is true of Bulgarians and of any other nation. When we forget our own history, we serve the history of someone else, and the outcomes are unclear.”

Nasimois an artist in motion. At the start of his career his graffiti displayed a rebellious spirit. Today, he has increasingly turned to spiritual values. „I am trying to be a better man, help others and seek out a more superior goal in life. These are issues that trouble me and they naturally find an expression in my art”, the artist says.

What is the source of his inspiration and creative energy?

"We all draw energy from a single source, and it is God. So therefore we have to try and do something for Him. We take from His energy and then we give it back. Let's hope He is happy with this give-and-take', the street artist smiles.

Does Nasimofeel free as an artist?

"When a man is not free he cannot create anything worthwhile. This would no longer be art but a commissioned job. Art is when the artist expresses himself, regardless of whether the audience will like his work or not. This is what creative freedom is about.”

English Daniela Konstantinova

Photos: private library

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