From KULTURA Weekly
Issue 25, 26th June, 2007
19 Selected FATA MORGANAS by Angela Minkova at the Arte Gallery
Angela Minkova is another artist who separates body from soul and calls it “belonging to the exhausted body”. It seems this division is inherent mostly in sentimentalism that fragments the epic unity of spirit and matter, not to mention that it underestimates their healthiness and integrity. As much as our immortal soul hurts, however, the sufferings of the perishable (I assert that based on my personal experience) are too unbearable. Obviously, however, the artist’s soul is made from a different kind of substance until the moment some tooth reminds of itself. Perhaps the body suffers spiritually – which is not impossible, if we assume that the soul suffers bodily. And it is precisely in this hypothetical co-dependence that the fata-morganic in Angela’s paintings is generated. The results are burning passions. They leave behind stone deserts and not fine sands of beach dunes or echoes of romantic dreamy experiences. That is how the landscape mirages appear, the illusion that the art of painting depicts in a still desert version.
How much disappointed love, passions and egocentric devotion there are in the plastic borrowings of Angela – an adult girl who keeps on playing with pieces of styles, plumages, tiny pieces of glass, and tiny people in the whole of their metaphysical sense. She turns round and round like a dervish in the ecstasy of her visual erudition. She is master of the artist’s unpunished freedom won and suffered for all through the transition through mirages and deceptive oases. And everything is verbalised because things and their placement in the painting must be explained, must explain themselves, the quiet cat-like step of the creative drive must be sound-screened.
The desert is not a territory of speechlessness. In it there sounds the ringing silence of the studio, its still life; it is a dwelling of loneliness I envy every artist for; and every artist curses himself for.
Angela’s mirages move along the razor’s edge of the commonly accepted – the edge on which only intelligence can balance without slashing itself. On top of the photographic ground Angela installs the fragments of phantasmagoric whirlwinds, the debris surviving after the Fata Morganas. This is dangerous work that might offend the good name, exquisite taste and routine ideas of many. The case is intelligent and brilliantly convincing. The freedom of borrowings is legalised. The culture of knowledge guarantees the quality of the artistic collage, put together from the rags of post-modernism, etc., in a stylistic patchwork.
Why does Angela make happen and is able to do what others have tried to no avail? Her two-way emotional model covers territories that some of us have covered separately – some lost in the northern, some lost in the southern hemisphere. From polar bears to penguins our emotions pass and it is cold both on the northern and the southern (here even more so) pole. Angela’s deserts are the unassimilated territories of a glowing temperament that lives in contrasts and finds itself in a universal loneliness. Thus I exhaust the geography of natural phenomena in Angela’s paintings. Time. In them time is cat time. The artist is convinced and asserts that her cat has no sense of time – time for her has stopped in the oblique pupils. In the written documents she claims that God Himself has cat pupils.
Obviously, “talent is a kind of infirmity”, but dividing the painful body from its soul it also gives you the precious liberty to be different, to be asymmetrical. The question “What will happen after that?” finds its answer in the selected 19 fatamorganic paintings.
They confirm the rule that “style kills the artist”. As sculptor Lyubomir Prahov, a person so dear to our inconsolable hearts, used to say, “In your life you can be immoral and dishonest; but in your art you have to be moral and honest.”
In Angela’s poetic cycle entitled “Poems and Traces” (see www.artangela.com) there is more information about the heart depicted as an attribute from St. Valentine’s day in most paintings. From her web site we also learn that “with her little blue rifle” the lyrical heroine shoots right in the heart in question the egg of her expectation. As a result, “It fell down prone, breathless, my most beloved, sunk in blood.”
Angela Minkova is a desert warrior, a wandering Bedouin who avoids the oases of stylistic settled way of life. Roaming the wilderness, she begs neither for water, nor for shadow, because she knows that whoever hasn’t crossed the desert till full exhaustion at least once in their life, shall never meet someone who will beg them, “Please,… tame me.” Of course, it is unreasonable to perish in the desert of your own metaphors; but we have to admit that one truly knows only the things one has tamed. For the time being, Angela will remain in a wild state.