Alfa is pleased to present A Two Man Show, featuring the sculptures of Jivko Jeliazkov and the paintings of Vesselin Kourtev. Neither realist nor symbolist, this humanistic collection provokes the mysterious realm of life. The works are both inspired by and attractive to the subconscious and leave the viewer to think, reflect and dream in their shadow. Both artists are classically trained yet experimental in their approach. Through their heavily abstracted lense, we see suggestions of the figure, both in subject and concept. Jeliazkov’s architectural sculptures act as the skeleton and Kourtev’s colorful oils are the organs and skin. Together they give us a complete expression, inside and out, of distinct facets of the human spirit.
Jivko Jeliazkov is a renowned sculptor whose works are found in prestigious collections all around the world. Originally from Bulgaria, he is especially well known in Paris, France, where he has lived and worked since 1990. His architectural compositions are full of life and movement, with themes revolving around man’s evolution and transcendental fate. With a delicate balance between traditional matters and contemporary forms, Jivko’s sculptures seduce the viewer’s subconscious. He captures wild and primitive energies with his soft and angular geometry, leaving us heavily humanistic pieces teaming with mythological meaning.
Vesselin Kourtev is recognized internationally as an artist who uses the cultural traditions of many countries. Bulgaria, where he grew up, is a constant presence in his work. He uses traditional, narrative drawing techniques combined with abstract- expressionist painting techniques. His paintings pay homage to works by artists of past centuries, like Arnold Bocklin and Walter Crane. Vesselin’s engaging, stylized figures are always engrossed in some curious or intriguing activity. His use of strong, thick color is absolutely poetic. Viewers identify with his “people” because they are universal. His canvases seem to be in two worlds at once: the world that we find within our mind, and the world that we see with our eyes. His unique and personal style is a lyrical reflection of the present, where viewers may move back and forth between realism and surrealism, immersed in their own fantasy universe. Vesselin has recently been using collage techniques in his work; photographs of buildings and figures in New Brunswick bring Kourtev’s paintings even closer to home for members of this community.