Artist Review by Ivan Botchev

In order to be able to fully comprehend and analyze Mr. Kourtev’s paintings we need to know about his past. Where he comes from and what traditions and values govern his life. He was born in Bulgaria, an ancient country with a very rich cultural-historical heritage – from the fascinating gold work of the Thracians through the unique Roman architecture to the Byzantine mosaics and paintings.

I have know Vesselin Kourtev since he was a student and as his teacher I know how thoroughly and responsibly he was accumulating knowledge, learning the subtleties of the profession, preparing for his independent art work. After his graduation he showed enviable activity which is reflected by his lengthy portfolio.

The exhibition presented in front of you is that of a mature author with his own individuality. The subject-matter which intrigues him most is human relationships and interaction in their global and personal dimensions. The events take place in a rather abstract, almost fictional environment. The message is conveyed by the state of the figures and their faces, reinforced with reserved gestures and movements. Vesselin’s strength as a painter is in his talent as an artist – every one of his ideas is supported by a wonderful choice of color, vital and alive, throughout the whole color spectrum. In most cases the faces are unobtrusive, showing through the background like sheer contours, weaving into the whole semi-aquarelle pulsation of the painting.

A lot more can be said about V. Kourtev’s creative work but it is more important that the appreciators themselves, live the moment for themselves and I hope they find the painting that is closest to their heart and environment.

I strongly believe that the prestigious Agoura Gallery has made an excellent choice by inviting an authentic and gifted author such as Mr. Kourtev. I wish the gallery and the author mutual success and successful collaboration.

Prof. Ivan Botchev, Dean, Art Department, St. St. Cyril and Methodeous University, Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria