To be a painter from Plovdiv is something far different from that to be a Bulgarian painter. Such a position is a challenge to the native man from Plovdiv, George Simov, and it has nothing in common with the conventional perceptions about national and regional division and hierarchy, as well as with the speculative ideas about center and periphery.
Whether they like it or not, modern painters from Plovdiv are apriori applicated to the mythology of Zlatyu Boyadzhiev and Tsanko Lavrenov. They are measured with the bohemian-
It was in the 80s when Dimitar Kazakov – Neron in the spirit of his abrupt style and with his impeccable flair for the things proclaimed the failure of the Philippopolis phenomenon. Neron put it curtly, that after a French pattern, the Old Town of Plovdiv “became a sacred place” but the time had come when “hundreds of painters today are loitering along the gloomy town,” because “Plovdiv used to be the leading town.”
I, as a critic, do not take such statements unequivocally because even today, the artistic Plovdiv lives a peculiar life, detached from the general processes in the country`s artistic culture, raised over the tepes (hills) of old glory and new ambitions. We can hardly talk about a group, about a community of spirit in today`s chaotic and uncontrollable artistic life, even because of the fact that Plovdiv artistic elite are an example of a group made up of extreme individualists.
On this panorama, George Simov has been working for decades with a stoical consistency which has to stand up for his perceptions about painting, as well as to meet the requirements of the unequal market rhythm of surviving. Painter`s work shall not be idealized with examples of selflessness, because the creative work of every author is a form of making a living as well. Quite thin is the borderline between the vital need of creating and recreating and the revolutionary compromise of the supply. The ability to balance between those two is typical for each and every artist, and in this respect George Simov is not an exception, as he proves the unity principle of Plovdiv`s opposites.
George Simov`s canvases reveal an unrestrained delight by the very process of painting. It is quite important the effort to stay invisible: the work invested, the time spent – these all are elements from the creative process, for which it is assumed that passes through anguish and pain. I am deeply convinced that the art George Simov creates is also accompanied by the well-
The zest for life in his painting comes out unimpaired of the vicissitudes it goes trough during the accomplishment of the work – making the plot meaningful, the composition of the work and the building up of colors. It is a rare quality of a painter who makes his achievement visible while he keeps hidden from the viewer the whole dramaturgy and contradiction accompanying the creative process of construction. Even if a hard labor was invested in achieving the artistic result, it would remain invisible even for the biased connoisseur.
Simov is effusive by temper, he does not wait the time in its slowliness to sift out and perpetuate his work. Painting for him is a vital and a natural state of living and a way of responding to the world. In such a setting and emotional disposition it is absolutely logical to define the painter as an expansive expressionist whose main means of expression is the color.
It is evident that the painter`s coloristic unrestraint is an expression of his emotional disposition – organic and natural, of which he sometimes, without no ground, feels ashamed. The embarrassment he feels of the colorful expansion, on the one hand, speaks for self-
George Simov is afraid his expressive multi-
George Simov does not contemplate on the visible but tries to get into the inner sense of the things. He experiments with the mosaic arrangement of pieces and elements which he combines into a compact form. His painting is a combination of signs that make up the whole; and in it we see the independent detail of which the image of suggestion is composed. It is all exposed on a bright background, so that the wholeness of the apparent segmentation stands out. Simov lays colorful textures and accents, forms and signs, resembling the principle of building up stained glass. In terms of the plot, his paintings combine the insignificant with the important; they juxtapose the permanent with the everyday.
There are things delicate in painter`s nature that acquire an enormous significance for life`s meaning in art. The transient moods materialize into ghostly images of birds, objects and conditions diluting their outlines into the abstract inconsistency of imagination. Vortexes are present, sudden changes, too – these are all painter`s futile attempts to curb the imagination, to tame his insatiable need of a color in the space. At some points, his stylistics reaches the exaltation of the abstract expressionism though never getting apart from that grounding without which his painting would be pointless and nonfigurative.
Often the present moment in art is defined as a revolutionary breaking down of the classic notions, predetermined by the digitalization era and the global thinking. In the general scheme of a crisis in traditional genres and the passion for the so called non-
George Simov keeps self-
©Bisera Yosifova, 2010 -