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“I agree with you that a painter`s image of nature is not the same as what nature looks like to an ordinary man, because a painter`s sensitivity uncovers the truths inside – beyond the ones that are visible. But in the end, the one and only principle of art is to reproduce what eyes can see. All other methods are disastrous no matter how harmful it could seem to the traders of aesthetics. There is no recipe for beautifying nature. What is important is – to be able to see.”

Rodin

Different intellects have different attitudes towards modern art. Georgi Simov`s work will hardly fit the patterns of a particular stream, trend or an art school. His paintings will not suit the tastes of those who want still lives and flowers squirting with freshness and delicacy; those who want landscapes of vast spaces, steeped in pastoral idyll or revealing the unusual beauty of nature that surrounds us. They will not suit the tastes of those who would prefer seeing a woman reproduced as Madonna with all her anguishes and pains, presented by one of the greatest geniuses of the brush – Botticelli. The aesthetes who are entranced by Correggio and his dame sweetness will not be satisfied, as well as those deifying women in the paintings of Tiziano Vecelli, Rubens, Courbet filled with delicacy, gracefulness, the delicate texture of flesh – magnificent splendour and beauty, where light flows lightly, scarcely perceptible over the bodies, to better uncover this gift of nature. But Georgi Simov`s work has its own public. He is a painter from the end of the 20th C – a time in which Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Cubism, Fauvism, Purism, Constructivism, Lyrical and Geometric Abstraction, Expressionism, Dadaism, Expressionistic Abstraction and many more still existed and were yet developed. Picasso himself said: “Impressionists are those who created the last innocent and beautiful art.”

K. Malevich drew his “black square” and he himself and many other painters hastened to proclaim the end of the art of painting. It seemed like everything was yet drawn and every new art would have been only a repetition. Despite all modern tendencies, infatuations, denials, etc. Georgi Simov chose to paint, to work with his own hand; to recreate on canvas his own feelings and thoughts in a distinctive way, worthy of the author`s frame of reference. Figured compositions predominate in the thematic-iconographic spectrum of his paintings, with suggestive, erotic, and environmental themes. The painter does not story-tell, nor does he explain, nor illustrate. The more he decreases the narrative and plot side of the paintings, the more he tries in a modern and authentic fashion to address his ideas through his vision of good and bad, of present and future to his contemporaries. His art correlates to the aesthetics of the true reflection of reality, and in terms of the artistic-plastic part of his works – to the methods of the Expressionist Abstraction. He draws figured compositions over a closed space – very often there is a dark background on which the details of the foreground loom large. His painting is always deformed. The method of painting is always expressionistic. Deformation appeals to him with the power and dramaticism of impact and provocation. The painter does not like muted ranges of colors and monochromous painting. Instead he prefers lines that are sketchy or deformed, but a composition that is colorful, vigorous, presenting a general scheme of suggestion, a general impression.

The author does not abide by verisimilitudes and resemblance; he does not want to draw an outer form in a precise academic-realistic way. He is not a slave of the literal, but rather wants – through dissection, grotesque and through impressionistic synthesis – to penetrate further in the very core of the things; to get into their true, hidden prime cause and effect, one that is from the position of an artist from the end of the 20th C. It seems sometimes that the author instinctively, at a subconscious level, chooses the structural way. It is not of his interest whether he has managed a well-built, sound and perspicuous composition. It is just a part of the general problem he is chasing. He is interested in the general impression that this marking of details leaves, the colorful spectrum of the way the composition has been decided, the exact way the colors are chosen – which at first seem chaotic and randomly taken.

The way he arranges particular details in his still lifes – the thistles, weeds, crippled flowers – all this sharply replicates the fundamental environmental problems he treats, (“Still Life with a Thistle”, “Dried Flowers” etc.). In his suggestive paintings, in a complex but still clear and distinct way, he composes images and notions, moods and feelings. The close-ups and poses he chooses in his figured compositions – where the theme about man has been worked out in multiple versions, but mainly through woman`s body, reflecting his summed up emotions – speak of his own philosophy of composition; they reveal a style of his own, an author`s style, influenced by Picasso`s genius, but refracted through his own intellect. His landscapes are abstract, on a more conditioned background. A suggestion that only resembles true reality. Georgi Simov does not rely on chance; he does not rely on the initial scheme in which the work process deforms itself and produces accidental effects. Some of his works are painted alla prima; others took months. Quite a number of sketches were made in order for the sheer compositional and color problems to be resolved; in order for each color to take exactly its place in the whole tonality of the work and to subdue to the general plastic organization. He rules over a broad spectrum of his author`s technique. He uses artistic effects – impasto, shading, spills, rasping; he pastes cardboard and uses other means in a collage technique of his own; he paints over these, shading the cardboard with different techniques. Thus the author manages a diverse palette of colors, without his paintings becoming irritating because of gaudiness and heaviness. Colors stay harmonious and balanced, and are conducive to the clearer suggestion of the author`s decision. The careful deciphering of his paintings, their juxtaposition, the very catching of the author`s idea and frame of reference, knowledge of the painter`s stylistics – they all reveal a diverse, different, subjective Simov`s world. The painter is a restless, searching spirit. Uneasiness and dramaticism reign over

the artist`s soul and he shows us how the world in front of us gets deformed – slowly and unnoticeably; becomes perverted; how moral values collapse; how a sense of the ideas of whole generations breaks down.

Georgi Simov`s work is a cry for help – a cry towards the future or a cry as a warning. He leaves every one to choose on his/her own. The painter admonishes us to look closer at his paintings; to set aside the outer world – just for a moment – to half close our eyes in order to get concentration and to acknowledge fairly to our own selves whether we are good people, whether we have done something good. Why are we here? And if we continue to watch with indifference how some people eat themselves up, and how others destroy their fellow men, till when we will stay here, on this Earth?

Georgi Simov is a European painter. He is interested not only in problems of the regional but of the universal as well.

In the end I will dare quote the great Picasso who said: “I do not know if I am a good painter but I know I am a good drawer.”

And in my humble opinion, I am not sure how good a drawer Georgi Simov is, but I know he is a good painter.


© Dimitar Indjov, 1998 - оwner of „Indjov Gallery“