Persona-Satirycona - The pencil

He's little and sensitive in a childlike way. He has a heart of graphite. He lives somewhere between light and darkness, on the cusp. He passes over from one side to the other. He's searching. He likes to play with rays of light and shadows. He likes the game of opposites. This is where form is born. In the collision of these two forces. He is inspired by it and pursues it passionately. The form that realizes it can exist in all possi- ble ways. He contemplates it and sees it fill with meaning as so many different images become reflected upon its surface. He wants to examine them. He wants to recreate them. But not from what can be seen from the outside, but the other, the deep, the invisible. After his travails, he returns to that very cusp and beginsto draw their destinies. He enters the darkness hastily and breathless. This force often tires him and fragments the shards of his graphite heart. Light creeps through like a cloud on the surface. It brings him fresh breath.

He learns to recognise the differences - madness, arousal, pain and joy. The line soars like a bird. He plunges into the deep density of the dark abyss, then rises to the light, bare- ly perceptible touch of supreme tenderness. Sometimes he throws himself into it with a passion, swirling and violently screaching. The sharpness tears through the space. The pen- cil strokes rain finely abundantly irrigating the form. Vertical and horizontal columns emerge to hold the foundations. The cast shadows play their part, supporting, spreading, and at times disappearing. The semitones overflow, they flicker in the air, and bring a truce between the categorically opposed extremes. The reflections are projected with self-loving. They look unrealistically distorted. Little by little the image acquires an essence, still separated by that cusp. It is in this atmosphere that the Personae-Satyriconae are born. Finally their eyes see. One eye remains immersed in darkness and the other illuminated by light. All the while, he asks himself the question whether he should be there, between the two? Should he exist on the cusp of differences? When he finishes them, he shows them his creation. So that they know. So that they can be seen from within. Let everyone see them. Let ev- eryone discuss and share them. He realizes that they need him. Yes, he is needed there. To create, always to be always alert. To measure.

Doncho Donchev was born in 1974 in Gabrovo, Bulgaria. He graduated from the National High School of Applied Arts in Tryavna, and then studied painting at the “St. Cyril and Methodius” University of Veliko Tarnovo. Subsequently he specialized in animation at the Nu Boyana Film Studios. He is an artist of diverse talents who is not satisfied with adhering to one particular style, but is in a state of constant and dynamic searching. Donchev likes to work with a variety of materials and techniques: he paints in front of an audience, he illustrates, paints, sculpts, and undertakes interactive projects.

In 2007, he illustrated a graphic novel entitled “Fatemate” and a book of poetry entitled “Reincarnation of the Satyr” published in Istanbul with a text by Kerim Sakizli. He has worked with the same author on a series of short stories for the “Heavy Metal” magazine (2011). Donchev painted on stage in the musical performance of “Nocturne in Blue”, and performed on various stages and cathedrals in Germany. In 2018 he performed in Bueckeburg castle.

Certain of his projects are thematic and inspired by science, such as “Particle Metamorphoses” and “Timeline of the Universe”, both presented at CERN in 2016 and 2018. The “Timeline of the Universe” is an audiovisual project presented as part of Art at CMS programme in Cern and has been shown in a number of locations around the world. He participated in EXPO Milano 2015 with his work entitled “Riflessioni” in front of the “Corriere della Sera” pavilion, and at EXPO Astana 2017 where he created a large-scale panneau entitled “Human Energy”. This was later to become the property of the World EXPO Museum in Shanghai. These two events were organised by Armino Sciolli, curator and director of the “Leonardo da Vinci Art Gallery“ in Locarno.

Doncho Donchev is frequently to be seen in the many events that form part of the cultural programme in Rivellino, Locarno, as well as in the Canton of Ticino. Donchev began work in this part of Switzerland in 2015 with a programme of performances, exhibitions and participation in joint projects. In May 2019, to mark 500 years of Leonardo da Vinci’s death, Doncho Donchev painted in front of an audience in Rivellino, recreating “Salvator Mundi”, one of the most interesting and most enigmatic of all paintings. This work, besides being one of the most valuable, is also highly controversial. The artist provokes the viewer, turning the image both ways around, thus creating a playing card. His performance was filmed and broadcast by Swiss National Television (RSI). At the same time, as part of the Leonardo 500 exhibition he presented a project entitled “Codex Metamorphoses”. The work is part of a longer series by Donchev interpreting the Metamorphoses of Ovid and the modernist Kafka. In December 2019, during an exhibition at the Leonardo Da Vinci Art Gallery in honour of Da Vinci’s work, Donchev performed a series of live portraits. Earlier performance painting by Donchev as part of cultural events in Rivellino and the Locarno Film Festival have included portraits of Marco Solari, Peter Greenaway, Alain Berset, Dalia Grybauskaitė and others. /BGNES