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Radoslav Kirilov – the Bulgarian artist in Spain attempting to humanize the inhuman

Art knows no boundaries and language barriers, it rather brings people together. When an artist has an innate talent, they do not remain hidden from the public, no matter in which country they have chosen to live. Thus, relying only on his talent and hard work, the artist Radoslav Kirilov settled in Spain. The final balance after the eleven years he spent there is numerous exhibitions in reputable galleries and museums, dozens of completed paintings and gaining experience in a number of styles and techniques, including printing.

"I develop my skills here and I am generally satisfied with life. I made a name for myself, people know me, they appreciate my work and give me a chance. Now I have many friends," Radoslav says about himself.

It was not so much the desire to emigrate that pushed him to live abroad but rather a family misfortune. He says that it was then that he made his fateful choice whether to continue as an artist or to sink into despair. "I made an exhibition in my home town Pernik and so I raised some money to go to Spain. My friends helped me to settle down and start over there,” Radoslav recalls.

"The next thing I want to achieve is to go to Ark Madrid, because this is the largest gallery of contemporary art. The greatest artists in the world strive to have their works shown there. I also want to show that I exist there. My works have participated in some of the most prestigious and important exhibitions, but in Ark Madrid there are already really big names. Otherwise, I have exhibited in art galleries and also in museums in Barcelona and Madrid, and also at the Museo Goya-Fuendetodos. To do an exhibition in Spain you have to apply for a project and compete with other artists. If you are lucky and they like you, then for a certain period of time you are given a certain place and you can exhibit there", Radoslav Kirilov says, sharing his path so far and his dreams with Radio Bulgaria.

"It is very difficult for a foreign artist to make a name for himself in Spain. Here, most Spanish artists have privileges, even critics get paid to write praises for them. When they regard a foreigner as a threat, they start ignoring them," Radoslav adds. However, he signs his paintings not with a pseudonym, but with his own name. On many of his canvases he paints a portrait of a man, but with the image of an animal. He also has his favourite painting which he has entitled "Bodyguard", but instead of a man, there is a goose in the picture:

"I see animals as people, that's how I paint them, I raise animals at home. Even if it sounds a little crazy, to me they are beings with reason, thoughts, feelings. Therefore, when they choose my picture with an animal, all people say that they see a type of person in it. And not only do I make animals, but I also make sculptures, I try to humanize the inhuman.

Radoslav does not hide the fact that in order to support himself abroad he has to combine the work on his paintings with other occupations. He himself creates ceramic figures and makes interior design and decorations of houses and apartments.

"In principle, it is very difficult to support yourself only with art - it is difficult for the Spaniards, let alone for the Bulgarians here. I'm not complaining, but I've had periods when it was very hard for me. You can't become rich abroad with your work, but at least you can live with dignity, and this is what a person wants - a dignified life ", Radoslav Kirilov says firmly.

English version Rositsa Petkova

Photos: courtesy of Radoslav Kirilov

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