In the next morning­

Resent exhibition at "Contrast" gallery - Sofia­

An exhibition called "The Next Morning" was opened by the well-known artist Stefan Petrunov in the Sofia's "Contrast" gallery at 49 "Tsar Samuil" street. The opening is on Friday, July 7, from 6 to 8 p.m., and the paintings will be available for review up to and including July 23.


Stefan Petrunov's art does not offer easily legible messages. His painting is characterized by a complexity of meanings, multicomponent elements and objects, and artistic eclecticism, implying a postmodern approach. He experiments and explores pictorial matter passing or touching pure realism, abstraction, expressionism, pop art, and cubism to achieve his own artistic language. In his practice, Stefan Petrunov dedicates himself to providing a new visual experience to the viewer.

Man is the main subject in his art. The author reflects on various states and possible reincarnations of man (from the deification to the deification of the Self). It is excited by the reflection of the individual in the cultural layers of time and the imaginary transformations and searches of the personality in its own consciousness. Explores the limits in the metamorphoses of the human image in art over the centuries and brings them to the present. Stefan Petrunov polarizes the topic of beautiful - ugly, humanism, and anti-humanism...


"Apollo" oil on canvas 100 x 120 cm.2023


"Hercules" oil on canvas 100 x 120 cm.2023

The exhibition "The Next Morning" brings together two series of paintings by Stefan Petrunov, primarily new and unexhibited canvases, and several collages. One series is related to the unfulfilled dreams of the heavenly, unattainable land - Arcadia. An idyllic topos filled with nymphs and gods, eternal love and harmony. Exotic nature. The seriousness is ironically broken by colorful inscriptions giving direction to the viewer. We are also amused by the placement of some of the images. The athletic Zeus the Thunderer is represented in the jungle, swinging on a creeper like Tarzan. Demeter, the goddess of fertility is depicted realistically, as a luxuriant lady with interesting attributes - a crown, drapery, and an inscription reminiscent of advertising inscriptions exploited by pop art - a counterpoint to the ancient ideal of beauty... Absolute love, possibly even between a deity and a mortal, symbolizes Eros and Psyche. The works in this series are artistic interpretations of ancient Greek mythology, inspired by imagined memories of nostalgic and dreamlike places and images.


installation view

The second series of images features African art artifacts combined with anatomical parts and geometric shapes. The author uses the power of expressiveness of African masks and figurines to explore emotional and psychological areas. The images are reminiscent of surreal visions of a post-apocalyptic nature. Creatures from the future. In them, the aesthetic ceases to be leading, it becomes an environment for philosophical and intellectual discourse. It takes the viewer through time and space. In today's global world of confused values and lost ones­, in search of self, the person is recognized in different identities, the consciousness often degenerates and forgets about its divine origin. This is also reflected in the mythical creatures depicted by Stefan Petrunov. Where will the search for new worlds take us? Will the development of technology, artificial intelligence, and the loss of connection with nature displace man? Human will and self-esteem are transformed into greed and lust for power, which destroy...Similar and other questions posed in the works of Stefan Petrunov. We have to answer some of them ourselves...The matter in his works is only an illusion.

PhD. Ani Venkova


group exhibition at BKI "Haus Wittgenstein" - Wien - 16/01/2023 - 02/02/2023

The project, whose concept is the work of Dr. Josef Pauschenwein (and team), basically seeks ways to delineate the free zone for the interpretation of works that are not thematically challenging, but function on a plastic level. The already trivialized postmodern deconstructive process of perception is at the heart of the broader research that informs the project. What is sought is its replacement with another type of more natural interaction between the work and the viewer, which relies on the personal experience of the artists and the audience and rather on the underlying human reactions and depths provoked by the works in the exhibition.


Gallery Serdika presents the new exhibition of Stefan Petrunov HYBRIDS —  paintings, drawings and collages, which will be shown from May 7 to June 11, 2021 in the art space of Women’s Market in compliance with all anti-epidemic measures.

This time Stefan Petrunov will confront us face to face with fantasy creatures, dreams and fictional scenes that make us renegotiate with ourselves the boundaries of the known and the unknown, internal and external. Rethinking the attitude to the depicted” objects “requires an assessment of whether they are a source of threat or attraction – probably both, says Dr. Ani Venkova about the author’s new works.

Undoubtedly, the works of Stefan Petrunov surprise, provoke and magnetically attract with their “unearthliness”. The encounter with them is a peek from the other side of the mirror, where one’s own reflection and that of the surrounding world are transformed. Through the clash of mutually exclusive elements, different cultural models and epochs, the artist creates a new universe, changes the way of thinking and activates the imagination.

IMG_3a22b79a468b74eecae9e81ac68f4e72_V.jpg IMG_173a56d669de392302b9f2d53030fce1_V.jpg

The human body is an object of interest to Stefan Petrunov. It examines the psychological states, social positions of the individual and their reflection in body language. The female figure dominates Petrunov’s work. By taking it out of a certain context and placing it in a new one, mystifying its image, the author builds his own, idiomatic, artistic language, in which he includes other motives, combining them in unexpected configurations.

Even static, figures are rarely passive. The postures of the bodies are tense, bending, “S” -shaped, they hint at movement, causing discomfort to the viewer and involving him in a plot in which to look for cause and effect, beginning and end, previous and subsequent “stop frames” events. . The author deliberately makes the viewer ask questions. Relying on the element of surprise, through the inclusion of unexpected visual comparisons and thought puzzles, he puts us on the border of the rational, between dream and reality, life and death.

Beautiful faces of perfect proportions in women’s bodies, often models from magazines, have been replaced by animal skulls. The images are hybrid, mutating (similar to modern culture) defining their own parameters and identity, violating the conventions of beauty.


Technically and stylistically, Stefan Petrunov’s art can also be defined as hybrid. The realistic image is lined with collage, clippings from glossy advertising, with borrowings from surreal visions and expressive overlays. There are direct references to Pop Art. The color is bright, saturated, “fauvist” intrusive, obsessive … But at the same time lively and energizing, strongly present and influential.

Drawing is a catalyst for his art. It is an independent artifact, the main element around which a collage or sketch develops, on which the painting unfolds. For the author, painting embodies thinking, becoming a living act of creation …

It is logical that among a generation that feels increasingly comfortable within the open confines of identity and masters the enormous toxic and transformational fluidity of the Internet, artists should create aesthetics rooted in change and hybridity. The constant state of transition is a constant. In a sense, everyone is subject to mutation. This quest to explore and transcend the boundaries of human experience, no matter how disturbing it may seem – to reconstruct and rediscover the body – gives rise to some of the most vibrant and complex arts being created today. Among them fully fits the individual artistic language of Stefan Petrunov. “

Dr. Ani Venkova