Maria Nalbantova is a visual artist. She works in the field of contemporary visual arts, experimenting with various media and techniques such as: drawing, collage, found objects, artist book, installation and video. She graduated a Bachelor’s (2013) and Master’s (2015) Degrees from the National Academy of Arts, Department of Book, Illustration, Printed Graphics. Spends one semester at the Faculty of Fine Arts at Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain where she develops further her artistic practice. In 2015 she is part of the exchange program “Own vision own way” – European youth exchange, in Auvergne region, France, where she is taking part in several group exhibitions. In 2018 she presented her solo show “Weather Forecast” in Vaska Emanouilova Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria, with the curator Daniela Radeva as part of the platform for contemporary art and young artists, an ongoing project of Sofia City Art Gallery. She was nominated for the 2019 and 2020 BAZA Award for Contemporary Art, Bulgaria. In 2019 she became a finalist for the National Scholarship of Foundation “Cultural Perspectives”. In the beginning of 2020 got nominated for the 11th Annual Art Award of the “Stoyan Kambarev” Foundation as a young visual artist. She has participated in numerous exhibitions, forums and competitions in the country and abroad. Her works “Isobars” and “Lightning” (2018) are part of the collection of the Sofia City Art Gallery, while others are in private collections.
My artistic practice is focused mainly in the field of contemporary visual arts, where I am experimenting with various media and techniques such as: drawing, collage, found objects, dry plants, photography, art book, pop-up books, installation and video. Often in my installations, I also work with the context of the space in which I am unfolding my works, specially created for the specific place, an example is the solo exhibition “Weather Forecast“. In my work, I introduce the topic of time and the various ways in which we transform the past and project the future (Pop-Up Past, 2017). I work with found objects, documents and archives, choosing the perspective of the humor, irony and critical view. Another important reference point is the study of the relationship and conflicts between humans and their environment, in the boundaries between natural and artificial, permanent and temporarily.
Dry Hands, 2019.
- Material: renaissance-style towel holder, mirror, towel, used gloves
- Description: One of the important part of anyone’s daily routine is to wash the hands. Clean hands often carry the sense of a clean and pure mind. Perhaps, almost all of the self-doubt is washed away and now one can easily forget when, because of what a
Multiple Use, 2019.
- Material: used construction tools and materials, acrylic paint, found photography, dry plants
- Width: 800.00 cm Height: 343.00 cm Depth: cm
- Description: Part of the exhibition BAZA
Sofia City Art Gallery, Bulgaria
The installation “Multiple Use“ examines the topic of instrumentalization and hopes to be a departing point for a discussion about the relationships between creation, destruction and responsibility. The work consists of several interconnected separate segments. Each segment is including altered “Found object” (objet trouvé ) such as old construction tools and materials, photography or dry plants. On the objects is being applied additional visual transformation by over-painting, attaching other objects or photographic fragments in attempt to invoke a rather ironic metaphor of the instrumentalization occurring between us, as humans and the one between the human and its environment.
Wallpaper roll “Romance”, 2019.
- Photographer: Rossina Pencheva
- Material: print on wallpaper, found images
- Width: 445.00 cm Height: 328.00 cm Depth: cm
- Description: Love novels are the bestselling genre of books. Annual sales of the pink literature in the United States amounts up to $ 1 million. In these books, the woman is portrayed as the weaker subject, who is the men’s object of desire. Sometimes she is almost raped, which is not perceived as humiliation but rather the embodiment of passion. The covers of these books represent a muscular male body that harbors the delicate beauty that becomes an icon of passioned love for dissatisfied women seeking supposedly ardent feelings. The work is presented as a set of wallpaper rolls mounted on a wall consisting of a pattern formed by a selection of found love novel covers, with removed texts, where the male and female figures are always in a similar position.
Atmospheric Pressure, 2018.
- Photographer: Radostin Sedevchev
- Material: textiles, paper, embroidery, acrylic, storage heater
- Width: 215.00 cm Height: 210.00 cm Depth: cm
- Description: Part of the solo exhibition “Weather Forecast” (2018) at Vaska Emanouilova
Gallery, Sofia, curated by Daniela Radeva
The site-specific installation "Atmospheric Pressure" is created around the local heating installation at the gallery space. The work integrates several layers of found materials, such as an old summer umbrella and a curtain, often used to protect ourselves from the sun. The white lines, drawn with acrylic paint, are spanning across the fabrics and the paper, depicting the lines, known as isobars, used to describe the atmospheric pressure. The work is focusing our attention on the pressure of sustaining our comfort.
POP-UP PAST, 2017.
- Material: digital print, cardboard, glue, handmade
- Sizes: variable dimensions, max. 68 x 28 x 19 cm
- Description: The interpretation of the photo book “Forget Your Past” by Nikola Mihov, keeps its original format, but it being transformed into a new project called “POP-UP PAST“ with the help of the pop-up elements as a reminiscent of the children’s books from the recent past. In the Eastern Bloc countries, this type of books have enjoyed great popularity and provoked the imagination of the viewers in the still less virtualized reality. Another object, which could be perceived as a symbol of the “socialism” in the totalitarian Bulgaria, are the huge and massive monuments. Traditionally, at the opening ceremonies, the official delegation is placed on a ground being covered by “Persian” carpet. In contrast to the pompousness of the opening ceremonies for the monuments of the totalitarian time, now they are completely abandoned and ruined. The practice of “sweeping the problems under the carpet”, which become a feature of the Bulgarian ethnopsychology and it enjoys unprecedented popularity. In the present project, beneath the carpet you will find interactive fragments of the past, details from the photographs of Nikola Mihov.