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Greek visual artist creates graffiti at Kvadrat 500 National Gallery

Photo: courtesy of Vasileios “Bilos” Manthopoulos

In the sculpture garden of the Kvadrat 500 (Square 500) National Gallery in Sofia, not far from works by renowned Bulgarian sculptors like Pavel Koychev, Krum Damyanov and Velislav Minekov, at this very moment a work of art is being born – a graffiti piece.

From May 10 to 14, Greek visual artist Vasileios “Bilos” Manthopoulos is painting his work Plethos (Multitude) before the eyes of the visitors to the gallery.

He is the first international artist invited to take part in the National Gallery’s programme “The wall”, which opened in the pandemic year 2020. The programme affords contemporary artists with a focus on graffiti and mural art an opportunity to create projects on the invitation of the team of curators. The work is painted on a 2.40 by 26 metre decorative panel in the centre of the museum’s standing exposition. The first artist to have been given this opportunity is Nikolay Glow Petrov, with his Colour Garden. A year later it was Aleksi Ivanov, with his “Eggcident” in his inimitable urban style.

This is the first year in which the project will be in the hands of a foreign artist – the Greek illustrator and visual artist Bilos, who has been living in Sofia these past few years. What makes his work so distinctive is the fine line between illustration, ceramics and abstraction, a line that is crossed all too often. The stories he tells are always figurative and open to interpretation. What these stories are is something we shall find out once Plethos has been completed. Until that time, at 6 PM every day, visitors to Kvadrat 500 can watch modern graffiti being born. And on 14 May, as part of the European night of museums, Bilos is going to put the last touches to his work, which will remain on display at the gallery during the next 12 months.

Editing by Vessela Krasteva

Photos courtesy of Vasileios “Bilos” Manthopoulos
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