Preslav Kostov (B.1998, Bulgaria) is a painter and draughtsman who currently lives and works in London. Before the Royal College of Art, Preslav attended Leeds College of Art and The Royal Drawing School. He is the recipient of The Elizabeth Greenshields Award and an elected member of The Contemporary British Portrait Painters Society.
Preslav's works are held in private collections across Europe and the States, as well as Soho House London. ​​​​​​​

Ephemerality and its beauty resonates with me. I couldn’t make sense of why. A moment’s value often lies beyond the means of my verbal expression. I created paintings from what I saw. Acute observation serving as my gesture of affection towards people and places. I felt closer.
Perhaps it stems from my ineptitude towards social affixation. I spent my childhood passed around, always a guest to my surroundings. Keeping to myself, uncertain of how fast each moment of stability would conclude.
As I recluded further, I embraced contemplative observation of others. Removed from reality and disillusioned by the discovery of the precarious threads holding people together, I found more comfort in recording the people around me than engaging them. It’s only later that I realised those paintings were my attempts to assimilate what was never mine.
Although my fascination with others is yet to be extinguished I set out to have my own say, eliminating props and other’s faces as deflectors. I dove into sincerity. Suddenly everything was melting and thoughts assembled like jigsaw pieces forced against their will and order. The paintings began to vibrate with the same decisive uncertainty that I navigate life with.
I became concerned with pareidolia. No longer latching onto someone else’s spectacle, I lower my anchor, more so for the debris and ridges it will snag on than its final resting place. The paintings became idiosyncratic journeys, ignited by stripping restrictions and hesitations. Layers of definition and obliteration distill a final form of argument. Recognised potentiality, attended to but not exploited. The creation of a liminal playground to record the journey of a net zero trip of the mind.

Contemporary British Portrait Painters - The Department Store, Brixton (2022)
Annual Exhibition - Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Mall Galleries (2022)
”Proserpina” duo show with Henry Baker - Apiary Studios (2022)
RAW - Soho Revue (2022)
More Heed - Auction Collective x The Magic Garden Battersea (2021)
Figurative Art Now - Federation of British Artist x Mall Galleries (2021)
Ruth Borchard Self Portrait Award - Virtual Exhibition (Longlisted) (2021)
Small Pleasures - All Mouth Gallery x The Auction Collective (2021) 
Annual Exhibition - Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Mall Galleries (2021)
Jackson's Painting Prize (Shortlisted) (2021)
Quotidian - Blanco Gallery, virtual exhibition (2021)
Isolation - Blanco Gallery, virtual exhibition (2020)
Feel, Don’t Feel - Leeds, West Yorkshire (2019)
Royal Drawing School Foundation Year Show - Trinity Buoy Wharf, London (2017)


Royal College of Art (2021 - 2023)
Leeds Arts University (2017 - 2020)
Royal Drawing School (2016 - 2017)
Lavender Hill Studios (2014 - 2015)

Tomorrow's Talent Vol. II, Booooooom Magazine (2021)
Issue 12 Portraits & Figures, Artit Magazine (p.68)
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