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“At Art Unlimited a few years back, I presented Nedko Solakov’s work A Beauty: a big white whale with a snowy pelt of fake fur. Inside its belly, like Jonah, was a shining painted moon, but to see it, you had to get down on your knees with your rump in the air… As I’m writing this today, Solakov is here with me and has something he’d like to add: ‘This is from Nedko: while Massimo was writing the previous sentences explaining that I was sitting next to him, I was thinking about what he sells, exactly. This is what he sells, as one of the most important gallerists working nowadays – he sells relations. Relations between the artist, the work of art and the collector, and respectively the viewer, relations of devoted appreciation and love’.
Well, thanks, Nedko. But let me say that in that week at Art Basel/Unlimited I saw a bevy of very important people kneel down to peer at the moon in the belly of your sculpture, and they were laughing and laughing, happy as clams. Sometimes art brings a smile to your face, it fosters joy, and all these important people with their bottoms in the air made the world’s most important art fair seems less dramatic…”

Massimo Minini

Pizzini by Massimo Minini, in Art Basel |Year 44, JRP|Ringier, Zurich, 2014


The next exhibition at the gallery, opening Saturday, September 27, continues an adventure that started years ago in A Group Show. In 2007, with his tongue-in-cheek, richly metaphoric approach, Solakov revealed the diverse stylistic qualities his art has hinged on since the early Nineties. Just as he did then, the artist again turns his mordant narrative talents to telling polyhedric stories, and in his A Group Show #2, channels seven different painters with odd names, who are merely varied facets of Solakov the Artist: the Pretentious Storyteller, the Zen Master, the Naughty Artist, the Romantic One, the Conceptual Painter, the Modest Craftsman, and the Site-Specific Colorist.
Alongside large-scale works peopled with imaginary figures, the show presents a series of paintings that depict a portion of female anatomy particularly admired by the male gender: the backside, of course, previously associated with the work A Beauty. («Oddly enough, bottoms once again seem to be a theme linking Solakov to our gallery» Minini said). It is the Naughty Artist, the most impertinent of these painters, who portrays the curves of his Bulgarian Gallerist, his Bulgarian Assistant, “his” Bulgarian Culturologist and the Cultural Reporter of his dreams, also Bulgarian. Once again, relying on his skill in the medium and above all, the biting wit that he is known for, Solakov aims to both tickle and provoke his viewers.