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Peter Mi ntche v artworks 2009-2011

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At S e a The project “At Sea” is inspired by 19th century political cartoons I stumbled upon around 10 years ago, while looking at a history of the Balkans during the Berlin Congress of 1878. Most of these cartoons represented a similar scenario: a number of animals (each one representing a respective country) engaged in some sort of physical fight or confrontation. Even though the animals were not specifically labeled, the meaning of the cartoons was still clear to me without any need for additional reference. With the project “At Sea” I decided to juxtapose the symbolic meaning of the animal as a national symbol, with a realistic representation of actual animals photographed in the Varna City Zoo. I thought that there one could find a very different understanding of how we define the nature of an animal. To further dramatise the relationship between the different selected zoo animals, I decided to paint each one on top of a flag from the International Maritime Signaling System. These relationships between symbolic and realistic representation thus also required a metaphorical stage, which is provided by an image of a large concrete sculptural map of the Black Sea, situated near the Varna Zoo.

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Letter Flags (with ICS meaning)

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1. A (Alfa) “I have a diver down; keep well clear at slow speed.” 2. B (Bravo) “I am taking in, or discharging, or carrying dangerous goods.” (Originally used by the Royal Navy specifically for military explosives.)

16. P (Papa) The Blue Peter. In harbour: All persons should report on board as the vessel is about to proceed to sea. At sea: It may be used by fishing vessels to mean: “My nets have come fast upon an obstruction.”

3. C (Charlie) “Affirmative.”

17. Q (Quebec) “My vessel is ‘healthy’ and I request free pratique.”

4. D (Delta) “Keep clear of me; I am maneuvering with difficulty.”

18. R (Romeo) “The way is off my ship.”

5. E (Echo) “I am altering my course to starboard.” 6. F (Foxtrot) “I am disabled; communicate with me.” 7.

G (Golf) “I require a pilot.”

8. H (Hotel) “I have a pilot on board.” 9. I (India) “I am altering my course to port.” 10. J (Juliet) “I am on fire and have dangerous cargo on board: keep well clear of me, or I am leaking dangerous cargo.” 11. K (Kilo) “I wish to communicate with you.”

19. S (Sierra) “I am operating astern propulsion.” 20. T (Tango) “Keep clear of me; I am engaged in pair trawling.” 21. U (Uniform) “You are running into danger.” 22. V (Victor) “I require assistance.” 23. W (Whiskey) “I require medical assistance.” 24. X (Xray) “Stop carrying out your intentions and watch for my signals.” 25. Y (Yankee) “I am dragging my anchor.” 26. Z (Zulu) “I require a tug.”

12. L (Lima) In harbour: “The ship is quarantined.” At sea: “You should stop your vessel instantly.” 13. M (Mike) “My vessel is stopped and making no way through the water.” 14. N (November) “Negative.” 15. O (Oscar) “Man overboard.”

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“A Happy Family at Berlin (1879),� replica of the original cartoon from 1878, pen and ink on archival paper, 2011.

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“Wolves (Stop Carrying Out Your Intentions and Watch for My Signals.),” oil and acrylic on canvas, 94cm x 146cm, 2011.

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“Deer (My Vessel Is ‘Healthy’ and I Request Free Pratique.),” oil and acrylic on canvas, 94cm x 146cm, 2011.

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“Bear (I Am Altering My Course to Port.),” oil and acrylic on canvas, 94cm x 146cm, 2011.

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“Lion (Man Overboard.),” oil and acrylic on canvas, 94cm x 146cm, 2011.

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“Imperial Peacock (I Am Taking In, or Discharging, or Carrying Dangerous Goods.),” oil and acrylic on canvas, 94cm x 146cm, 2011.

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“Stork (Negative.),” oil and acrylic on canvas, 94cm x 146cm, 2011.

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“The Black Sea,” oil and acrylic on canvas, 160cm x 240cm, 2011.

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Installation views from the exhibition “At Sea.”

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R e a d My L ips The project “Read My Lips” is playfully informed by Roland Barthes’s assertion that, “the death of the author is the birth of the reader,“ and its professed empowerment of critical viewership. The project tries to reenact the interactive relationship between author, work, and viewer, referencing the expressive forces of authorial subjectivity or, alternately, the artist as performer confronting the viewer. However, “Read My Lips” also enacts the possibility of digression on the part of the viewer into involuntary vulgarity through the participatory process of reading.

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“Read My Lips (Painting 1),” oil and acrylic on canvas, 70cm x 97cm, 2011.

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“Read My Lips (Painting 2),” oil and acrylic on canvas, 70cm x 97cm, 2011.

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“Read My Lips (Painting 3),” oil and acrylic on canvas, 70cm x 97cm, 2011.

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“Read My Lips (Painting 4),” oil and acrylic on canvas, 70cm x 97cm, 2011.

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Installation views from the exhibition “Read My Lips” at Pistolet Gallery, Sofia, March, 2011.

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Ic eb e rgs As the Arctic was explored during the 19th century, sailors returned with accounts of exoctically shaped icebergs. Soon icebergs became a popular subject for artists who reinterpreted these natural phenomena as fantastical shapes that also echoed architectural forms such as cathedrals or arches. These images, almost always presented as realistic depictions of actual places, demonstrate the artistic appeal of disguising subjective abstraction as objective representation. The project “Icebergs� is an ongoing series of paintings, comprising a typology of imaginary icebergs. This painting concept allows me to experiment with abstract painting within the comfort of a representational space, but unlike the nineteenth century exmples of iceberg imagery, my paintings are an attempt to directly dramatize the tensions between the realistic and imaginary aspects of representation.

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George Back (1796-1878), “An Iceberg, a Ship, and Some Walruses Near the Entrance of Hudson Strait, Northwest Territories,� watercolour and gouache, c. 1840. Canadian Heritage Gallery.

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“Untitled (Iceberg #1),” oil and acrylic on canvas, 70cm x 97cm, 2011.

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“Untitled (Iceberg #2),” oil and acrylic on canvas, 70cm x 97cm, 2011.

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“Untitled (Iceberg #3),” oil and acrylic on canvas, 70cm x 97cm, 2011.

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“Untitled (Iceberg #4),” oil and acrylic on canvas, 70cm x 97cm, 2011.

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“Untitled (Iceberg #5),” oil and acrylic on canvas, 70cm x 97cm, 2011.

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“Untitled (Iceberg #6),” oil and acrylic on canvas, 70cm x 97cm, 2011.

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“Untitled (Iceberg #7),” oil and acrylic on canvas, 70cm x 97cm, 2011.

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Installation view, “BAZA Award,” SGHG, Sofia, Bulgaria, June 2011. Proposed installation view, of the project “Icebergs.”

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T he S e a G arden “The Sea Garden� project is based upon imagery located within a large seaside park in the city of Varna, Bulgaria. The park was completed by Anton Novak at the end of the 19th century yet buildings and landmarks continue to be built in the park to this day. The park is littered with a range of architectural styles and remnants of multiple political periods such as early 20th century nationalist busts, socialist monuments, or the kitschy villas and nightlife venues financed by newly rich businessmen. Like religious pilgrims, the residents of Varna ritualistically visit the park in huge numbers every moment the weather permits. This project presents a collection of photographs and paintings of the park. Having grown up near this landmark, I perceive its environments not just as a part of my memory, but also as a part of my identity. However, my intention is to juxtapose a more removed photographic view with a search for personal engagement through the medium of painting. Due to my personal relationship with many of the park’s spaces, for the project I specifically avoided places or views I could recall from my childhood. There is no personal story attached to any of the featured sites, yet in all of them I nonetheless try to portray a sense of familiarity.

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“Two Benches,” oil, acrylic, and gouache on canvas, 85cm x 78cm, 2010.

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“First Aid,” oil, acrylic, and gouache on canvas, 110cm x 78cm, 2010.

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“Summer Night Club,” oil, acrylic, and gouache on canvas, 65cm x 85cm, 2010.

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“Copernicus,” oil, acrylic, and gouache on canvas, 78cm x 77cm, 2010.

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“Wave,” oil, acrylic, and gouache on canvas, 78cm x 75cm, 2010.

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“Observatory,” oil, acrylic, and gouache on canvas, 100cm x 150cm, 2010.

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“A Walk with a Baby,” oil, acrylic, and gouache on canvas, 85cm x 130cm, 2010.

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“Naval Museum,” oil, acrylic, and gouache on canvas, 68cm x 78cm, 2010. Private Collection.

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Installation views, “The Big Wave,” City Art Galley Boris Georgiev, Varna, Bulgaria, August 2010.

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G ol d e n Paint ings The project consists of a series of paintings that I began working on at the end of 2009. These paintings present a series of everyday objects, which may also be interpreted as allegories. All of the paintings are executed with the same technique, and consist of a layering process of both geometric abstraction and representational painting. The base of each painting is a geometric abstraction painted with black acrylic and gold gouache. These “golden abstractions,” as I refer to them, reference, on the one hand, High Modernism and its precept that once a painting is freed from illusionism it is also freed from ideology, rendering it thus morally sublime. On the other hand, the “golden abstractions” directly reference notions of the primitive: the gold in the paintings is intended to equate cultural value with material value. Layered over these abstractions, I paint images based on my photographs in oil paint; before they are dry, the images are scraped in such a way that the abstraction beneath them becomes visible. My goal is to make the subjects of the images appear intimate, while also provoking allegorical interpretations.

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“Nettles,” oil, acrylic, and gouache on canvas, 85cm x 75cm, 2010.

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“Wife,” oil, acrylic, and gouache on canvas, 40cm x 55cm, 2010.

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“Husband,” oil, acrylic, and gouache on canvas, 40cm x 55cm, 2010.

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“Calendar,” oil, acrylic, and gouache on canvas, 75cm x 60cm, 2010.

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“The Moon,” oil, acrylic, and gouache on canvas, 75cm x 105 cm, 2010. Private Collection.

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“Onions and Lemons,” oil, acrylic, and gouache on canvas, 50cm x 43cm, 2010.

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“Finger,” oil, acrylic, and gouache on canvas, 96cm x 72cm, 2011.

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Pe te r Mi ntche v Born 1979, Varna Bulgaria Lives and works in Varna, Bulgaria.

S elec t S olo E x hibition s October 2011 October 2011 May 2011 March 2011 May 2010 March 2010 Oct 2009 Jan 2009 Dec 2008 October 2006

“Iceberg,” Gallery BulArt, Varna, Bulgaria. “At Sea,” Gallery Vaska Emanuilova (SGHG), Sofia, Bulgaria. “Places and Objects,” Modo Art Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria. “Read My Lips,” Gallery Pistolet, Sofia, Bulgaria. “Landscapes,” Gallery Uka, Varna, Bulgaria. “Golden Paintings,” Gallery BulArt, Varna Bulgaria. “Two Flags,” Gallery Vitra, Varna, Bulgaria; solo exhibition, part of CONTEMPO, Varna, Bulgaria. “Objects and Meaning,” City Art Gallery Boris Georgiev, Varna, Bulgaria. “Landscapes,” Gallery Pistolet, Sofia, Bulgaria; solo exhibition. “Collision,” Kwantlen Art Gallery, Surrey, British Columbia.

S elec t Group E x hibition s June 2011 April 2011 October 2010 August 2010 Nov 2009 October 2005 February 2004 May 2003 April 2003 Nov 2002

“BAZA Award,” City Art Gallery (SGHG), Sofia, Bulgaria; finalist for the BAZA Young Visual Artist Award 2011. “CONTEMPO,” Gallery Arhis, Varna, Bulgaria. “Gaudenz B. Ruf Award, Shortlist 2010,” Gallery Raiko Aleksiev, Sofia; shortlisted in the Young Artists Category, 2010. “The Big Wave”, August in Art Biennial for Contemporary Art, Varna, Bulgaria. “20 Years,” Art Center Radio Varna, Varna, Bulgaria; exhibition organizer and participant. “Horses for Courses: MFA Graduate Exhibition 2005,” Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia. “Lucky 13,” Belkin Satellite, Vancouver, British Columbia. “Emerging,” Phthalo Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia. “You Are Here,” UBC Fine Arts Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia. “Letters From The Province” UBC Fine Arts Gallery, Vancouver, two person exhibition with Simon McNally.

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E ducation 2005 2003

Master of Fine Arts Degree, University of British Columbia. Bachelor of Fine Arts, University of British Columbia. Graduated with honors; awarded the University of BC Medal in Fine Arts.

S elec t Te x t s “Peter Mintchev’s ‘Golden Paintings’” - Rebecca Lane, http://www.petermintchev.com/html/golden_ paintings_review.shtml “Read My Lips” - Svetlana Kuyumdjieva, Culture - Issue 14 (2632), 15 April 2011. “The Landscapes of Peter Mintchev” - Narodno Delo Newspaper, 06 October 2010.

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Published by Peter Mintchev and Proekt Designs, 2011, Varna, Bulgaria Design by Proekt Designs 2011 Editing by Proekt Designs 2011 www.proektdesigns.com All texts written by Peter Mintchev All paintings and installation documentation by Peter Mintchev All images copyright Peter Mintchev, except p. 16 image: George Back (1796-1878), “An Iceberg, a Ship, and Some Walruses Near the Entrance of Hudson Strait, Northwest Territories,” watercolour and gouache, c. 1840. Canadian Heritage Gallery. p.4 image: “The Black Sea,”oil and acrylic on canvas, 160 cm x 240 cm, 2011. p.16 image: “Untitled (Iceberg #0),” oil and acrylic on canvas, 70 cm x 97cm, 2011. p.22 image: “Observatory,” 100cm x 150cm, oil, acrylic, and gouache on canvas, 2010. p.32 image: “Finger,” Installation view “BAZA Award,” SGHG Sofia, Bulgaria, 2011. For Contact: Peter Mintchev peter.mintchev@gmail.com www.petermintchev.com Copyright Peter Mintchev 2011

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Peter Mintchev artworks 2009-2011