Bogdan Alexandrov

Palimpsest

portraits without a name

Yet another exhibition of Bogdan Aleksandrov, which is a series of portraits, executed in his characteristic „pointe” acrylic technique. Not surprisingly, they visually lay respect, as this is one of the authors, who can certainly be said that has already left his mark in the process of modernization of Bulgarian painting. Even if we do not know anything about his work that will hardly affect the power of immediate impact coming from complicated morphed images, coloring and painting surface.

But under the apparent professionalism of this intellectually subtle author usually lie far more complex intentions and the key to understanding of his semantic traps lies in the very first word of the name of the exhibition – palimpsest. In his working process Bogdan Aleksandrov uses photography, but not as an aid to construct the scenic image, but as its duplicate nature. Very often, he shoots mirror reflections of his characters and in such way; he achieves additional conditionality of image and compositional solutions. Such transformations of photography in painting underlie contemporary art and it is apparent that the artist skillfully moves in this area.

He is well acquainted with the history of conceptualizing strategies in painting and creates new meanings of portrait image using the ability of photography to “cut” thin layers in time and space. The palimpsest here is understood as an accumulation of old and new meanings, of half-effaced images from drawings, photographs or flashes of memory. For here images of real people are combined with those of already extinct animal and bird species, examined in old photos or drawings which came down to us from scientific expeditions of former times.

At the end, we face a new text in which memory even outweighs specifics inherent to portrait genre. The extinct species gives a new understanding of anonymous images of unnamed people. By examining the bordering attributes of painting and photography, Bogdan Aleksandrov creates a new image unity. Photography and electronic media affect the traditional concept of painting and create a metaimage, which opens up possibilities for interpretation of the past and at the same time brings a sense of actuality of the intentions of its author.