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Rado & Vasco Kirov


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Rado Kirov

Rado Kirov was born in Bulgaria in 1955. He developed an interest in metal art at an early age when he was first exposed to the wonder of the Panagyursko Treasure, an exquisitely hand crafted collection of golden artifacts dating back to the 3rd century BC. Rado began an extensive apprenticeship in copper smithing at the age of 25 in the town of Dobrich, Bulgaria under the tutelage of Alexander Raev, one of the greatest craftsmen in Bulgaria at the time. He honed his artistic skills with copper over the next 10 years until immigrating with his family to South Africa in 1991. Rado continues to be a member of the Bulgarian Association of Craftsmen – Section: Copper Smithing. Rado’s passion and skill in copper, shifted to silver and gold during his years of employment with the Pagliari Group in Cape Town. During this time, Rado had the privilege of hand crafting numerous prestigious pieces, including a silver Chalice presented to the late Pope John Paul II by former President Nelson Mandela on behalf of the South African Government in 1998, a silver Rose Bowl presented as a wedding gift to the Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito and his wife by the SA Government, and the Alfred Dunhill Challenge Cup Trophy for golf. Rado was also responsible for the creative design and fabrication of unique collectors’ coins in 1000g pure silver and 1000g 24-carat gold. Rado’s talent received the ultimate recognition by the SA Government when he was commissioned to craft the new parliamentary People’s Mace and the Black Rod mace of the South African Parliament using 18-carat gold. In 2006, drawing on the inspiration of the Panagyursko Treasure, Rado created the Rhino Rhyton, a traditional wine vessel in the shape of a rhinoceros, hand crafted using 1250 g of 22-carat gold. This was a tremendous personal achievement for Rado and an absolute validation of his craftsmanship. Over the last 20 years, Rado gradually shifted his creative focus to product design and functional art working extensively with interior designers and architects. Searching for a new creative outlet and complete freedom of expression, Rado embarked on a new artistic venture at the beginning of 2012 drawing on his extensive knowledge of silver smithing and years of experience in working with various different metals. Rado developed a unique technique of manipulating a sheet of stainless steel by hand, using the inherent physical properties of the metal to create a striking three-dimensional surface that dynamically mirrors its surroundings and draws the observer into the magic of its reflection. Rado’s new-found passion for sculpture and his mastery of stainless steel are expressed in this new medium, which he has called the Mercury Effect.

all works are mirrored stainless steel

1 Bloom 80 x 147.5 cm (31 x 58 in)

2 Transience 147 x 66 cm (58 x 26 in)

3 Frolic 140 x 140 cm (55 x 55 in)

4 Melting Cube 21 x 43 x 46 cm (8 x 17 x 18 in)

5 Degrees of Comparison 22cm, 34cm, 36cm, 40cm (9in, 13in, 14in, 16in)

6 Column Pedestal 119.5 x 18.5 x 18.5 cm (47 x 7 x 7 in)

7 Slither 82 x 12.5 x 12.5 cm (32 x 5 x 5 in)

8 Ripped 115 x 115 cm (45 x 45 in)

9 Collisions 118 x 118 cm (46 x 46 in)

10 Duality 60 x 115 cm (24 x 45 in)

11 Rift 118 x 115 cm (46 x 45 in)

12 Grace 38 x 138 x 57 cm (15 x 54 x 22 in)

13 Mercury Column 240 x 28 x 28 cm (94 x 11 x 11 in)

Vasco Kirov

Vasco Kirov was born in the town of Dobrich, Bulgaria in 1960. He had a formal education in music and worked as a violin teacher in the early eighties. A desire for greater creative exposure and richer life experiences subsequently lead him to working as a prospecting driller, knife maker, blacksmith and ethnic jewellery maker, among others. After immigrating to South Africa in 1991, he immersed himself in fine jewellery design and manufacture, and was awarded seven prestigious design awards for excellence in diamond jewellery design. Vasco still designs and fabricates fine jewellery pieces in his studio in Cape Town. In 2005 – 2006, Vasco collaborated with his brother, Rado Kirov – himself a metal smith and sculptor, to create a range of art works involving stainless steel mixed with traditional fine art media, culminating in an exhibition in the Rossouw Gallery titled “Blurring the Line”. The concept was to blur the line separating art from craft, sculpture from wall ornament, picture frame from the picture itself. The range covered paintings, wall sculptures and free standing sculptures. Vasco started painting on stretched canvas in 2003 as a means of exploring a new form of creative expression. He never paints real objects – the compositions and colours rather spring from dreams or visualisations. Conveying an overall emotional impetus is what drives the creative process, rather than a direct representation of actual forms and colours. Vasco’s work is known for his use of vibrant colours and plentiful texture.

all works are mixed media on canvas

14 Demantoid 104 x 80 cm (41 x 31 in)

15 Yellow Diamond 135 x 104 cm (53 x 41 in)

16 Ruby 3 135 x 104 cm (53 x 41 in)

17 Emerald 2 104 x 135 cm (41 x 53 in)

18 Diamond 104 x 135 cm (41 x 53 in)

19 Tanzanite 104 x 80 cm (41 x 31 in)

20 Tourmaline 104 x 80 cm (41 x 31 in)

21 Emerald 1 80 x 80 cm (31 x 31 in)

22 Rhodolite 80 x 80 cm (31 x 31 in)

23 Sapphire 2 104 x 104 cm (41 x 41 in)

24 Padparadsha 104 x 104 cm (41 x 41 in)

25 Ruby 1 62 x 80 cm (24 x 31 in)

26 Blue Zircon 104 x 135 cm (41 x 53 in)

27 Tanzanite 2 104 x 135 cm (41 x 53 in)

28 Fancy Colour Diamonds 160 x 110 cm (63 x 43 in)


The Brothers Kirov - Steel & Gemstones  
The Brothers Kirov - Steel & Gemstones