21 February - 8 March

On February 21st, Stubel Gallery opens an exhibition with which Ani Petrova will celebrate her 60th birthday. The journalist Galina Ruleva shares her thoughts:

“The trust, the magic of communication, and the capacity to admire make this exhibition by the photographer Ani Petrova special. The title itself – Jam Session – implies freedom, breadth of experience and surprising revelations. She exhibits 20 photos of 20 artists, taken in the sacred atmosphere of their studios. To enable the public to immerse themselves in this sanctum, each artist will present one new work. A further 1200 photos from 66 ateliers will be projected on a dedicated screen, offering a comprehensive picture of Ani Petrova’s creative inclinations.”

Her trademark “In the studio” started in the newspaper “Novinar” with her visit to the studio of Petar Dotchev in Lesidren. This extraordinary experience exposed Ani Petrova to the magic of spiritual empathy, opening the door and crossing the threshold toward other worlds.

It is an enticing dialogue – because you must not only be admitted to the sacrament, the artist’s studio, but also be permitted to disclose the personal space and the creative process of the artist to the public, to the viewer – a judge who must be captivated.

Presenting these photos is also the photographer’s personal celebration, which she wants to share with friends and colleagues, to look back on a time when digital photography was only a mirage. But now – oh, now she is in the whirlwind of her imagination, and working in the Bulgarian National Radio gives her the chance both to capture current events and to be devoted as an artist to the art of photography.

It is not only a matter of capturing the moment, but also grasping the depth of the experience, the sweep of the thought, and the human revelation of the philosophy of living and the creation of a new and intimate reality called “a work of art”. Ani can elaborate the details, she is happy when she makes her discoveries in the sacred creative laboratory – either in conversation or in close observation, when a painting can be both chatty, meaningful, and silent or mysteriously deep and multi-colored. A painting – a soul that does not always reveal itself right away, but is different, multi-layered, promising with every look... on the way to unknown spiritual spaces.

The survival of the artist lies in the search for these spaces, in the solitude of the studio and the collision with the unseen inner energy – says Prof. Boris Gondov in connection with the Covid 19 lockdowns. Explaining her photographic preferences, Ani Petrova says much the same – our salvation lies in the revelation, in the trust in our common work, which is the meaning of all our efforts.

Photos: Stefan Markov and Antonio Georgiev - Hadjihristov

The author

Ani Petrova