Bulgarian born, New Jersey-based artist Vesselin Kourtev’s outstanding watercolor and collage paintings emblematize the quote by Francis Bacon: “The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.” Using the visual ambiguity of collage, the artist expresses the mysterious depths behind the complexity and profundity of emotion. The rigid, torn lines, so distinct and crisp, are softened by the ebb and flow in the patches of deep watercolors which fade into one another. This carefully orchestrated mixture at once reveals the simultaneity of the acuity of sensation and the delicacy of sensibility.
The compositions are carefully reflected upon; the artist constructs them through provocative shapes, interlinked with a trompe I’oeil of hooks and strings, further lending a sense of balance to the compositions. Separate passages are more deeply connected through the figures that occupy them: the scenes which begin in one section sometimes continue in the next, defying the white, stark space that stretches between them. These figures, which consistently include both humans and animals, provide a sensitive contrast to the cold, abstract shapes which bind them, emphasizing the breathing, moving vitality of the Living. A sweet sense of nostalgic melancholia – the feeling that pulls at the soul in contemplating a fragile, evanescent Beauty so deeply, admiration gives way to wistfulness – descends on the collages in a chilled fog, revealing the centuries-old philosophical character of Bulgaria’s Eastern European tradition.
An internationally acclaimed artist, Mr. Kourtev has exhibited in many of the major global art centers of the world including New York, Berlin, Geneva, Antwerp, Prague and various cities throughout the Netherlands, Greece, Malta, Bulgaria and the United States. His noteworthy art is also featured in many private collections in Bulgaria, Germany, France, the United States, Malta, Greece, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Turkey. His solo exhibition in the Dutch city of Hedendaag was officially inaugurated by the Bulgarian Ambassador to the Netherlands.