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In the Age of Facebook There is Someone Who Paints Faces.

In the Age of Facebook There is Someone  Who Paints Faces.

On Wednesday night, October 26th, the outstanding Bulgarian painter Karo Atansov provoked me, made me stop, think and excavate deeper within myself with his portraits of famous poets.  He calls them “criminals”, but then gives a further description:   Poet or criminal, these are strong images to capture in paint. They reflect driven minds capable of twisted thought, artistic or deviant.

His newest exhibition is on display at Luman Gallery on 221 East 60th Street .  Even from the window, one can see the faces of these notorious Poets and Criminals questioning us, criticizing us, intensely  present  on  larger- than- life canvases.

They are asking us: Who are you? What is your face saying? Where are your thoughts and feelings? Are they on your face? Does it show who you really are? I remembered the last Facebook page I saw an hour earlier – colorful HD pictures of people having fun.

Everybody is in motion (hard to capture a face) with endless links and happy yahoo’s. Karo Atanasov hits the breaks! His artistic choice counterpoints the confusion of our face and “book” attached to it.  He concentrates and captures characteristics of the Face by dramatically communicating the worthy, deep story ”book” behind it.

Delicately, he fuses romantic ideas in the content with expressionist traditions in his style. His portraits represent faces that are not so easy to face. They breathe and we become aware that we are breathing creatures.  We realize we are not just faces, there is so much more behind it.

We are not just HD colorful facades.  Today we all face a virtual world without borders, which means we have to hold on even harder to our personal beliefs and what we value.  We recognize these personal truths and honesty in these criminals. Karo Atansov’s  Art cannot fit in a text message.

You have to look for it and surrender to it, with a face that cannot be in everybody’s “book”.  The reception last Wednesday was a real treat for the artistic elite and art lovers, who gathered to share a wine, laughter and so much more.

Gina DiDonato