THE NATIONAL GALLERY
SOFIA ARSENAL – MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART
I HAD TO DO SOMETHING…
Vernissage on Thursday, 23 February 2023, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
SAMCA, 2, Cherni Vrah Blvd., Sofia
As the title of the exhibition itself suggests, Stanislav Belovski declares his position as a protagonist who cannot stand aloof, who is turned in on himself, addressing purely aesthetic issues.
‘The artist is not an academic researcher in order to be objective or neutral. Art is above all a personal position, a kind of political act. A few years ago, I began creating works in urban environments and on social media so as to reach those people who wouldn’t step into a gallery to see my art. My desire is to provoke them into rationalising and arguing their opinion on important social issues. Big decisions are not taken somewhere ‘up there’; we make them through our personal choices. Each one of us is important and can change things,’ declared Stanislav Belovski about his street stencil, ‘Putin Carrying His Dead Body’, which travelled around world agencies in March and April 2022.
The exhibition highlights this aspect of the artist’s work: street art from 2022, digital collages and paintings created as a reaction to the war in Ukraine, which began exactly one year ago on 24 February, as well as a reflection on calls for ‘neutrality’ that resonate through our society.
The theme of rationalising our common past and its imprint on the present is the subject of Stanislav Belovski’s oeuvre in a series of individual and group projects over the years, presented in this exhibition through selected works including ‘Correction of Socialism’ (2014), ‘Forget Your Past’ on the initiative of photographer Nikola Mihov (2017), and ‘No Reason to Leave the Sun’ (2019). A special place is occupied by impressive monuments as signs of our collective past and of the way artistic interventions can reverse meaning and neutralise the symbols with which they are loaded.
The speed of the artistic response to current events also determines Stanislav Belovski’s means of expression. In his works, he includes quotations and borrowings from well-known works of art, archival photographic material, his personal photo archive, and documentary photographs and reports from scenes of military action; he turns to widely known, iconic images. In his collages, the artist uses works by famous artists such as Ernest Pignon-Ernest, Richard Hambleton, Roy Lichtenstein, Gustave Caillebotte, Caspar David Friedrich, and photographers Ivor Prickett and Slim Aarons, among others, with each works accompanied by a description of the original source, time and place of its presentation in a public space.
Stanislav Belovski (born in 1976 in Sofia) is a visual artist, well known for his exhibition projects on Socialism: ‘Correction of Socialism’ (2014); on punk: ‘Make Art Not Friends’ (2017); on space: ‘No Reason to Leave the Sun’ (2019); his personal ‘MIRROR MIRROR’ (2020); and the urban ‘Nostalgic Dystopia’ (2022) . Since 2018, Belovski has also become famous for his artistic interventions in the urban environment, as can be seen on his Instagram profile sbelovski, and repeatedly covered by international media.
Recent solo exhibitions include: ‘Nostalgic Dystopia’ (2022) and ‘MIRROR, MIRROR’ (2020), in Credo Bonum Gallery, Sofia; ‘No Reason to Leave the Sun’ (2019) and ‘Make Art Not Friends’ (2017), in Nuance Gallery, Sofia; ‘S’exprimer’ (2017), in the exhibition space at 1, 6th September, Sofia.
General participations: Rivers of Sofia Festival (2020); ‘Tomorrow Belongs to Whom?’, group exhibition within SAW-Sofia Art Week//Swan Song 2020; Espace PORT A Gallery (2020); ‘Cosmodrome: 2019, a Year of the Future’ (2019); Plovdiv City Art Gallery; ‘ART Revolution Taipei 2019’; International Artist Salon; World Trade Centre Hall 3, Taipei, Taiwan; Cosmodrome, One Gallery, Sofia (2019); group exhibition at Chan Liu Art Museum, Taipei, Taiwan; grand prize nomination in the Allianz Bulgaria National Competition for fine arts, sculpture and graphics, Shipka 6 Gallery of the Union of Bulgarian Artists (2018); International Artist Grand Prix, X-Power Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan; ‘Forget Your Past’, Photosynthesis Gallery, Sofia (2017).
For further information:
Nadezhda Dzhakova, Head of SAMCA
+359 (0)879 834 030