Media > Interviews
applied artist and a photographer make dolls with souls
Tanya and Martinmeet
again after 18 years and rediscover each other with a joint exhibition
meet again after 18 years and resume their relation. Applied artist Tanya spent
some of her life in Spain. After returning to Bulgaria, she worked as a gallery
curator at the Gaya Gallery. It was there that she started making her unique
A bit of
photographer Martin, who lives in Prague, came to Sofia on a business trip.
There, he met Tanya, and she introduced him to her model dolls, who enjoy going
for a walk and posing for pictures. Martin did not miss the chance to capture
them in all sorts of everyday situations.
One day, the two
had the following talk:
Martin: Your dolls
are really pretty.
taken really pretty pictures of them.
Martin: Shall we
stage an exhibition?
Tanya: Let us.
taken for a walk through Martin's objective, are a
permanent presence in the Gaya Gallery.
A bit of background
graduated from 8th High School, in a class with extensive English
language studies. She made her breakthrough as an applied artist. She's been
creating mostly jewelery and accessories. During a trip to Spain, she began
selling her decorations in the streets and in stores.
Q: A bit about
A: I make them out
of household cleaning wire. I also use plastic balls of all colors. No two are
alike, as they express different states and spaces.
Q: You started
doing this because...
A: Of my love for
Q: The things
you could never put up with?
A: I try to put up
with almost everything. Sometimes one has no choice. Still, it's a good thing
taking a stance and holding it.
Q: What defines
an artist is...
A: Her love of
Q: Beauty will
save the world because...
A: It can fill or
rob it, bring meaning to it or render it meaningless.
Q: Your day
A: The hormone of
Q: You try not
A: Rely on my
personal opinion completely.
Q: Your mentor?
A: Darth Vader, who
carried all the burden of Star Wars on his fragile shoulders.
ideas are born...
A: A necessary
Q: An artist's personal life involves suffering
artist has defined herself as one. Suffering can be a very useful thing.
Q: The way you and Martin complement each other in
this exhibition and beyond?
Q: In your line of work, you'd change...
are organized quite nicely, and there are all sorts of opportunities for
self-fulfillment. I believe everyone's work depends on the artist herself. I'm
Q: Your principles are...
A: To be
more careful with the world around me. To not go too far in my self-assessment.
Q: You maintain your physical and spiritual shape
life and everything that happens to me and around me.
Q: Reality in Bulgaria right now is..,
A: This country is
becoming the “land of filling one's face”.
Martin Mladenov has been professionally doing photography for
many years. At present, he takes pictures only now and then. Tanya's dolls are
definitely worth it, so he decided to dust off his camera. The idea is to
preserve them, have them travel around and finally find the people who would
complement them. “Once I saw how photogenic they are and how fine the pictures
turn out, Tanya and I decided to hold an exhibition,” he explains.
Other than that,
Martin has graduated in chemistry, statistics and quality assurance, and
currently is employed in international trade. He knows Tanya from high school.
He lives between the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.
Q: Your meeting
positive and very pleasant. People are no more similar than dolls. Each one is
an individual. Tanya is fond of her dolls and puts much of herself into them.
They are awfully honest, which is probably what makes them pretty to look at
and capture on film. Our common work was very enjoyable, with no arguments on
the concept and aesthetics of the project. We get on very well and see the
things we do in a very similar way.
Q: To you, art is...
A: Nothing. Trade.
Q: What can
behavior, primitive manners and most of all, primitive thinking.
Q: You draw your artistic energy from...
A: My interaction
with this world. With the people who are part of it, and the events that take
place. In the dolls made by Tanya, I saw something very original, something I
hadn't seen before. It struck me that we may hold an exhibition with their
photos, and have the dolls themselves take part in it. It turned out they're
quite photogenic, and things happened easily.
Q: Your recipe for success is...
A: I don't have
one. However, success can be provoked when we are serious about what we do. We
must work conscientiously and treat others honestly.
Q: The reforms you would introduce are...
A: Art should
entail success, including financial one, otherwise it dies. Unfortunately, in
recent years, non-market thinking has been prevailing in Bulgaria, where
artistic products have been offered not to the end user, allowing him to make a
personal decision whether this is the art he needs; instead, state committees
of so called “doyens” have been popping up. These are directly linked to the
public budget and nepotist practices. Things have become so distorted over the
years that now we basically have a perpetuum mobile driven by people with
rather obsolete notions of how to go about art.
Q: You're now working on...
A: My book, PVC.
The story closely resembles the society we live in. A demigod arrives, an
alien, does certain things, wins certain elections, forms a certain government,
does some jobbery, and leaves. The book's already been written in Czech, and is
to be published in Bulgarian.
Q: The rules of life...
A: We must get our
success relying on our own efforts and playing decently.
Published on 21.06.2008 ã. Newspaper 'Novinar'