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Archive:Art Space Talk: Tanya Gramatikova

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I recently discovered the work of Tanya Gramatikova. Tanya is from Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Tanya's photography is strongly focused on the human condition. "I think the most difficult to describe -and most provoking for me -are people... the expression of inner depth and feelings."

Q. When did you discover that art would be an important part of your adult life?

A. "I never made a decision. It just happened. I do believe that creativity is a complex process that evolves with time. It depends on your start (upbringing), the influences that affect you, and most important maybe, your inner sensitivity. Then something strikes you that makes you bring out what you've already accumulated..."

Q. Has society influnced your art? What are the social implications in your art?

A. "Art is always influenced by society. If we trace back into art history, every new cultural and artistic movement emerges in relation with specific social and political changes. So in  general sense, yes-I'm part of our society, even though in my work I do not focus on socially engaged themes. Perhaps I must point out my interest in the lives of ethnic minorities. But still I haven't elaborated on that topic and the accent is rather on their ethnic colourite."

Q. On average, how long does it take to create a piece? Can you share your philosophy about art and artistic creation?
A. "The very act of creation is the easiest part. However, the evolution of ideas requires time ,and let's say, the chance-something happens that strongly echoes in you and then you just follow your intuition ... I work especially with models and do consider the good vision very important. However it is not enough...Their personal presence is very important so maybe the most difficult part is to make them trust me, to provoke the essence of their emotional world. Sometimes it is deeply suppressed under superficial conduct."

Q. Has your art ever been published? What prizes have you won?

A. "So far I took part in several BG contests and was nominated for their final exhibitions: "Photography salloon Varna"' 2006, "Picture  of the year'Canon BG" 2006, "Biennale Phodar" 2007. Prizes: Annual Serbin Photography Contest-First Prize , colour photography and honorable mention- 2006 ;16th Trierenberg Super Circuit,2007 -Gold medal in special themes category, portrait category.

I have presentations in some online magazines: "Underground Voices", "Liberaeva" and two print magazines, as well as photography sites and many blogs. Also maybe I should mention my participation in the conceptual album "View of Life" of "photosight.ru "and the 17th "Nude" exhibition of  photo-forum.net" in the art gallery "Paris",Sofia."

Q. Do you have studio rituals? As in ,do you listen to certain types of music while working? What helps you get in the mood for working?

A. "I'm contemplative as a person and music is a kind of "mantra' for me. It helps me fall into that special state of mind and makes my senses more subtle.Yes, I always listen to music whenever possible."

Q. Where can we see more of your art?

A. "I do not have an official website. I would love to find gallery representation. "

Q. Why did you choose the medium you use?

A. "Photography is "painting with light". I do a lot of digital manipulation in my works. In my younger age I attended classes in painting. However, my family encouraged me to receive a more practical education. I graduated from the English Language School, Blagoevgrad, and later on entered the economic department of Sofia University "Kliment Ohridski".

During my university education I started realising that it was not what I wanted to do with my life- though I still had no idea what I wanted to do. Then I had my first photosession as a model for an artist. Eventually I proceeded on the other side of the camera..."

Q. Any tips for other emerging artists?

A. "I can't escape cliche' but it is very important to throw yourself totally in what you do-you must feel the subject, make its energy pulse with yours, make it follow you...of course, good technical skills and education are very important."

Q. In one sentence: Why do you create art?

A. "It is an inner necessity for aesthetics, to express myself, it is a way to seek answers of many questions to which cannot be given rational ones..."

Q. What has been the toughest point in yor career as an artist? Have you ever hit rock-bottom?

A. "Maybe the disapproval and the strong reaction of my parents to the abrupt discourse in my ambitions..."

Q. Has politics ever entered your art?

A. "No. I try to stay away from it."

Q. What can you tell our readers about the art scene in your area?

A. "In Bulgaria art is in a deep crisis along with other spheres of public life. The politicians of our country poorly finance the cultural sector- as a result "pseudoculture" emerges- "chalga" we have for it- a very distasteful mixture of modern and folk trends with no aesthetic values. So people's taste and need for culture is gradually dislocated in the wrong direction.

Many bulgarian artists emigrate and look for realisation in the countries where the social status of artists is on a much higher level... Otherwise Bulgaria is one of the most ancient countries on the Balkan Peninsula and has its cultural traditions- very specific ones for that region, related with our history and the spirit of  Bulgarians."



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