Petko Antonov

1952 Born in Rousse
1971 Graduated from the Fine Arts Secondary School in Sofia
1978 Graduated from the Fine Arts Academy “St. Cyril and Methodii” in the town of Veliko Tarnovo
1991 Member of the Union of Bulgarian Artists

Petko Antonov’s artistic development starts with the use of aquarelle, a form, which best
accommodates Antonov’s search for self through shape and through form. The ability of
aquarelle to bring forth the otherwise indefinable nature of feelings, that instant where
the visible and the perceived intersect make-up what it may lack in clairy and finity.
Antonov’s aquarelles – at the beginning preferred to oil paintings – born from a chaos of
emotions, show fragments of diluted desires and unfulfilled dreams.

“How can I shelter
in the summer heat the sudden
aquarelles of rain.”

A poet in his reflections of the world, Antonov’s aquarelles initiate a dialogue with the poetry of Blaga Dimitrova, Konstantin Pavlov and the other writers
of the “Bulgarian Library”.

“The spirit is a paintbrush
Chalk – in invisible. The moment
inscribes itself.”

The substance of the paintings gives way to the visible shape of the words.
Antonov’s transition from aquarelle to oil painting is driven by the energy of oil painting, a reflection of his fascination with the fulfilled life. It is a
transition from minimalism – a friend of poetry – to the expressionism and lavish beauty of oil painting.

“From blue
yellow and red became the eye
of the lake.”

The Simplicity and beauty of life’s common experience finds its shape in the uniqueness of Antonov’s paintings. A glance at a small town secret, a card of a
landscape, an instant of love. The rich use of tones, a reflection of emotions, reveals the love in Antonov’s style. His early works are nostalgic and
capture the vulnerability of the naked body – the image of the loved one – in the instant of their impossible meeting.

“From my lips
to yours – light
years of craving.”

A new resonance was born in Antonov’s works from the life of his experience. The reflection of this yearning for fulfilled longing and his own sensuality
lights up the canvas.

“I go in, sinful
halfway, I go out
halfway holy.”

The admitted sin of love in Antonov’s paintings makes the so candid and familiar, so close to the images of inviting nudity. These images make his canvasses
at the same time a flight to the spirit and also lively and arresting in their sensual power. The artistic material, thickened with multi – layered pigments
and emotions makes the canvasses tangible in their spiritual accomplishment and surreal in their colourful perception.

In this search for thesis and anti – thesis in the artistic harmony of warm and cold tones, Petko Antonov reaches in point, where the shape becomes its own
contradiction – structures of colourful specks – almost abstractions.

“Chaos in the paintbrush,
but the world in the eye
is re-created.”

Antonov starts with abstraction – the image of the subtle feeling, in order to reach at the current stage a metaphorical power of his sense – emotional
images, the conditionality of the concrete. The image, diluted in this artistic way, is rediscovered in enchantment with the truth of simple things – the
classic images of still life and landscape. The images – the state of the spirit, have found their poetic metaphor. In this way, Antonov’s canvasses bring us
the artistic sign of the eternal thing, which keep together our senses and souls, exploded with rage and dissatisfaction. Somewhere here is the secret
multiple valences of his artwork towards even a picky connoisseur.

Art is in the artist, and not in the image. A simple truth, achieved by modern disregard of the eternal laws of beauty. Petko Antonov’s paintings give us
back the primeval in the interaction with art – the individuality of style and the singularity of rediscovery.