Yavor Kostadinov

Exhibition „Some fears“, Curator: Kyril Vassilev

opening: 14.05 - 18:00 h - Vaska Emanouilova Gallery - branch of Sofia City Art Gallery
bul. Yanko Sakazov 15. Sofia, Bulgaria

„Whether we want it or not, art is a reflection of our true selves. Especially if it is genuinely sought after. That which an artist creates is above all a continuation of an artist’s self. Although many factors beyond us exert their influence on us, and the society and environment form us as individuals to a large extent, there is a thing we can call our inherent essence.Art can be a bridge inward to this essence. It can help us understand it better. It can synthesize and extract what we are obsessed with, help us look at it from a distance and learn something more about ourselves. To put aside what impedes our clear vision and allow us to have a look beyond our fears, worries and emotions. In this series of works influenced by various fears, memories, dreams, nightmares, real, unreal and fictional situations, I attempt to identify certain mental burdens, get relieved of them for a moment, step back and consider how I could move on despite them, to have a better insight of myself and to seek a more constructive and natural, inherent essence.To be able to change something in the surrounding world one needs to start with oneself. For one to change, one needs to get to know oneself first. And by knowing oneself, one can find freedom.
Yavor Kostadinov

The exhibition of works by Yavor Kostadinov is an unusual self-portrait composed of the images of fears and phobias that he has. It is the result of a patient self-scrutiny of those areas of the self which we normally avoid. For who of us likes remembering their fears, especially the ones we cannot rationally explain or easily keep under control - the fear of the mysterious stranger in the lift, the fear one might find their own cut-off head amidst the plant pots in the living-room, the fear of water slides or of the new escalator in the Central Cemetery Park? We are possessed by our wishes and almost completely identity with them. Our fears and phobias, however, tell about us a lot more than our wishes do, as the latter are trite and hardly standing out among those of the crowd. There are even anthropological theories that we in fact wish other people’s wishes. But our fear and phobias are far more interesting and original, and rather distinguish us from the others, give us an air of distinction and individuality. If we attempt to compile a list of our wishes, and a different one of our fears, we will be convinced of how incomparably higher in number and more extraordinary our fears are. Artists have long known that should they experience a lulled imagination, they always have their fears to resort to for inspiration. Yavor Kostadinov did precisely that, he referred to his fears to extract from them such images and stories that the intentionally rushed imagination would otherwise find hard to obtain. In other words, the young artist has referred to an older and more inventive artist within himself, who works uninterruptedly, works “in the dark”, works “for free”, but whose artworks most of us fail to appreciate, and even avoid them. The younger artist has regarded the older artist’s creations sympathetically, yet slightly disrespectfully, as he has converted the frightening stuff into something funny. The fears are thus used as a creative resource but are at the same time tamed and kept at a distance.
Kiril Vasilev, May 2019