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Bulgaria

Ognyan Kostov Kolev

Artist Summary

I was born in Varna, Bulgaria and discovered the icons in my paternal grandmother's liturgical book and began writing them when I was 14 years old.
My father hired private tutors with whom I studied drawing, painting and the centuries-old traditions of iconography.

I’ve received the blessing of Iconographer in the Church of the Dormition in Kazanlack, Bulgaria.
Being an iconographer, my work is rooted in tradition, strictly complying with the Byzantine iconography canon. My creative process is extremely intricate and sacred; from the beginning with preparing the wood to the way the Biblical figures are depicted.
I use natural mineral pigments and apply 24-karat gold sheets on wood to create the images.

I’ve sold in different galleries and my icons are part of private collections in Bulgaria and throughout Europe and the United States.

After living in Madrid, Spain, I moved to Chadron, Nebraska, continuing my art and giving workshops on iconography. I gave a workshop in Rochester, Minn.
In those years, I directed iconography workshops and had exhibitions in Nebraska, South Dakota, Colorado, Wyoming and Illinois.
The full range my work - icons, oils and decorated wooden eggs – was on display at the Minden Opera House Gallery.

Since August 2006, I live in Buenos Aires, Argentina, writing and restoring icons, and working on fine arts. I have restored 17 original icons pertaining to a private collection.
I’ve also made an exhibition of my icons in the Peloponnesian Hellenic Union, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
I was honored by the Argentine Federation of Communities with a Diploma of prominent Bulgarian.

In 2015 has been enthroned to the left of the Altar an image of our Lady of Guadalupe painted by me in the Basilica of the Holy Sacrament in the City of Buenos Aires:
In 2019 my profile and art works as fine art artist has been represented by Agora Gallery in New York, USA.

In 2019, after 40 years of writing icons, I had the honor of receiving the blessing of the Ecumenical Patriarch of the Orthodox Church, Bartholomew, for my work as an iconographer.

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Gallery