The objects created by Martin Penev are both direct and mysterious in a kind of child-like way. They remind us simulteneously of the defenselessness but also of the unconditional freedom of fantasy confronted with the unknown and the unexplainible.
His hybrid forms neglect the rational and push forward the empathy. The references to toys and to something primordial in the shape of the object, as well as, the “buildup” of the installation are attracting the grown up viewers to the “naiveté”; the deformations and the obsessive presence of his objects in the space are pushing the viewers into a labyrinth of interpretations.
Martin Penev is presenting his new exhibition “It happened here” - the final stage of his work in relation to the BAZA Award for Young Bulgarian Artists which he won in 2018.
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Martin Penev (born 1985) lives and works in Sofia. In 2009 he took his MA in Theology from the Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski and in 2012 - MA in Digital Arts from the National Academy of Arts, Sofia. Since 2010 he has participated in group and solo projects in a number of festivals and events in Bulgaria and abroad. Among his group shows are: 2017 - Shifting Layers. Young Art at the Museum, Sofia City Art Gallery, Sofia, curated by Vladiya Mihaylova; 2018 - Art Start: Young Artists to Follow in 2018, Credo Bonum Gallery, Goethe-Institut-Bulgarien, Sofia, curated by Vessela Nozharova, Daniela Radeva and Stefka Tsaneva; 2019 - Open Art Files: Notes and footnotes, Kapana Gallery, Plovdiv, curator - Vera Mlechevska. Among his solo shows are: Wonderful Urban Story - The Fridge, Sofia, 2018, curated by Stefka Tsaneva; Unforeseen – Institute for Contemporary Art - Sofia, 2018, curated by Iara Boubnova; An Object of Concern - Swimming Pool, Sofia, 2018, curated by Victoria Draganova. In 2018 he won the BAZA young artist award, and in 2019 he was an artist in residence at Residency Unlimited, New York.
He has interests in object, installation, interactive design, media arts and performance.