Preslav Kostov (b.1998,Bulgaria), is a London based painter and draughtsman whose work engages with the intricacies of identity and the immigrant experience. Employing the technique of automatism, Kostov’s paintings emerge from a cumulative process of self-questioning.
Kostov's imposing compositions dialog with the form and palette of the old master painters, presenting imagined scenes of discovered narratives situated within a liminal realm. His works speak to the enduring reality of human experience while rejecting association with any particular moment in time.
Presenting anonymous ghost-like figures unconnected to any singular narrative or experience, his subjects inhabit a realm untethered from worldly possessions or cultural signifiers. The tangled forms, with their alluring asymmetry, evoke a melancholic isolation inviting the viewer to contemplate the complexities of the human condition.
He is a recipient of The Elizabeth Greenshields Award (2021 & 2023).
"With painting, I am not seeking to explain.
I begin by sweeping areas of colour across the surface - instilling energy. I search for an environment of intangibility: a painted fog that invites me to wade in.
I poke guesses at it. A stumble of interpretations scratching at the surface. The early moves often fail. I redact them carefully.
Ghosts of dead ends slowly stack into a scaffold. Each mark opens a pathway for someone. I find my own route through the muddle.
Peeking into details, wiping away and painting out, whatever it takes to wash away the noise. Past moments turn up uninvited and echo back at me across the surface.
I stand back and let one in."
Works held in private collections across Asia, Europe and the USA.
From The Cloud - Baert Gallery (2023)
Skin Deep - Studio West Gallery (2023)
A consciousness harnessed to flesh - D contemporary (2023)
Now introducing 2022 - Studio West Gallery (2022)
”Proserpina” duo show with Henry Baker - Apiary Studios (2022)
Royal College of Art (2021 - 2023)
Leeds Arts University (2017 - 2020)
Royal Drawing School (2016 - 2017)