Vasil Chakarov (1934 - 2018). With brush and palette
Thanks to the hospitable gesture of the Gallery Loran, the fifth exhibition of the long-term project dedicated to the work of Vasil Chakarov will be shown there, at 16 "Oborishte" street. It will contain the artist's oil paintings.
Vasil Chakarov did not want to part with his children. He showed them in general and collective exhibitions. Group ones and several independent ones - in Sofia, Kyustendil, Samokov, Plovdiv. But he refused to sell. He must have been glad that people liked his works, but then he took them home again. Therefore, today when he is no longer here, they are alive and together testify to a great natural talent, to a remarkable volume of creativity and to an extraordinary personal presence.
Among this many works carefully preserved by the artist, I found his first experience in oil painting - a small landscape. On its back, Chakarov had painstakingly noted that it was inspired by the work of Mario Zhekov, in 1953, and was made with a barber's knife. In this simple motif of a village mill, the nineteen-year-old has already revealed his character. In contrast to socialist realist painting, especially its peak, he found the true path – the expressive form and the good example. And he managed to get close to him with improvised means.
Ten years later, again in oil technique, he executed a completely independent painting - "Asphalt base", found precisely as a composition and plastic rhythmicity. I forgot to ask him why he didn't stay in the field of oil painting. What drew him to watercolor and graphic techniques? Why did he feel most himself with these techniqes?
And yet, it is probably no coincidence that at the end of the 80s, having fully proven himself for more than twenty years as a master in watercolor and graphics, in caricature, cartoon and collage, he took the brushes, made his own palette and turned to oil painting. He has been tempted by mixed media before. He experimented on non-standard bases. And we can't help but note in these actions his sense of color, modulation of colors, the thirst for density of the image.
Therefore, we should not be surprised that in creative maturity he confidently turns to oil. In 1986-1988, Vasil Chakarov created entire series on this matter. They fascinate and respect. We can single out several thematic circles of works.
Naturally, one series is related to Samokov and its surroundings. The conscious life of the artist passed here. And it was here that what he saw developed his thought and feelings. Executed on cardboard or canvas, these chamber works attract with a fresh look at the chosen motif and at the same time with a definiteness of view. Completely free in his artistic responses, he is naturally open to experimentation as well. Such are the four "Rainbow" works, which he named after the local dialect "Zunitsa". Let's add a few works inspired by the native Bagrentsi - resonates in color and mood.
The works that Chakarov performs in Germany, where he painted en plein air with a group of artist teachers, deserve special attention. Here, along with the many miniature sketches in which he marked his impressions of the new environment, he also created finished paintings. In them, modern stylistics stands organically and convincingly. Although fertilized by what was seen in museums and by cultural accumulations, in these Berlin motifs we find the familiar Vasil Chakarov - spontaneously and mentally responding to what his eyes see.
Again, as a result of participation in group plein airs, the works from Bansko, Kovachevitsa, Zheravna appeared in the light of day. The artist achieves their atmosphere, marked by old times, without focusing on ethnographic and household details. It is striking that there is nothing transiently superficial about them. In the act of creativity, Chakarov is always supremely concentrated and completely dedicated.
And although the oil works are an episode in Vasil Chakarov's great artistic legacy, they cannot be ignored. They show the range of the master - his desire to try different materials and to express his soul's emotions in them each time in his own way.
The exhibition in Gallery Loran can be seen from March 9 to April 2, 2021.