Top Pick: Works as diversified as an artist's life

ARTIST and fashion designer Albena Chteniovska-Egloff travels a lot. On her trips, she meets many people and interacts with many different cultures. And she does not keep her reactions to these experiences to herself. Instead, she conveys them to people by turning them into colours.
"Everything that is going on in my life stays with me as feelings, and I feel the need to express them," says Chteniovska-Egloff.
The Bulgarian artist is showing 27 large-scale paintings at the Bulgarian Cultural Centre in Bratislava. At 17:30 on the last day of the exhibition, October 15, she will hold a fashion show, presenting designs she created out of natural materials and paint.


MIXED MEDIA expresses the artist's life experiences.
photo: Courtesy of Albena Chteniovska-Egloff

ARTIST and fashion designer Albena Chteniovska-Egloff travels a lot. On her trips, she meets many people and interacts with many different cultures. And she does not keep her reactions to these experiences to herself. Instead, she conveys them to people by turning them into colours.

"Everything that is going on in my life stays with me as feelings, and I feel the need to express them," says Chteniovska-Egloff.

The Bulgarian artist is showing 27 large-scale paintings at the Bulgarian Cultural Centre in Bratislava. At 17:30 on the last day of the exhibition, October 15, she will hold a fashion show, presenting designs she created out of natural materials and paint.

Chteniovska-Egloff's paintings are full of colour. There are usually no more than three main colours, applied with even, horizontal and vertical brush strokes passing through the wide palette of their shadows. The strokes' movements are broken by a change in their direction or by a sudden change of colour, which results in box-shaped images that seem to divide the picture.

One of her paintings, entitled Distance, for instance, expresses her feelings about a trip she had planned but failed to accomplish. The neutral colours she chose to use in this work capture her frame of mind at the time.

"I try to convey my feelings in my paintings. But since they are abstract, they often evoke different feelings in people," says Chteniovska-Egloff, a member of the Bulgarian Artists' Union since 1997.

"For me, art is a fictive reality."

The artist has been exhibiting her work across Europe since 1987. At one of the exhibitions she met her French-Swiss husband, and the couple moved to Slovakia with their daughter last year, when he was offered a business opportunity here.

Many art critics consider her paintings hazy in composition and dark in colour. Chteniovska-Egloff agrees, and explains that they "seem dark only at first sight. One needs to peer at them longer in order to enter the depths of the picture."

Just like the materials she uses, Chteniovska-Egloff's work is extremely diversified, ranging from paintings to fashion designs.

"It is interesting for me to work in both fields. I feel that I am not just a painter but an artist: someone who works with art and creates it," she says.

The exhibition runs from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 17:00 until October 15, at the Bulgarian Cultural Centre in Bratislava on Jesenského 7. Admission is free. Tel: 02/5441-0139.

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