ISLANDS UNDER THE SUN
New oeuvres of Romil Kalinov
There is that ancient Chinese wise saying: “If you have traveled much and you have been away from your home for too long a time don’t rush to get back because you will not find the things you left the same again”. It may sound a little bit sad but isn’t the real voyage contained more in the relocation that in the destination and isn’t its actual meaning concealed more in the distance that have covered and less in the end-target of the journey?
I am observing the new paintings the artist has leaned against the walls of his studio in preparation of his coming one man show. They look to me as an island chain forming a necklace of desires that someone has thrown into a sea of the unknown; its waves falling back in a violet-blue low-tide to the breakers beyond which you never return the same.
Every single composition forms a particle of that wave, frozen in a sequence of its next transfiguration; every one is an imprint – literally, as a printing technique and in its transcendental meaning – as a phenomenon of colors and dimensions, bringing to halt the relentless outflow of various sensations.
I guess that is right because this is exactly what it takes to be an artist: to follow the uncharted track of an everlasting and never ending journey toward himself with the end-target remaining ever unseen behind the lure of a retreating horizon.
I used to know Romil Kalinov up until recently just as artist of small sized prints having in mind his exquisite lithographs in which the muted or at times exploding coloring merged quite well with the erotic connotations of every single form and move.
I also knew him as an artist showing an occasional taste for Performance Art; I remember his performances Sea Food and Virtual Removal of the Invading Symbols at the Black Sea coast or The Honeymoon Trip of Aronia and Seasonal Charity in Sofia. Remarkable was also his spatial sculpture Eco Time Measurer shown in 1998 at Earth and Man Museum in Sofia, transmuted into a “event machine” by the behavior reactions of the public.
Through his new works I can observe the transformation of his previous curiosity for the unbound ephemeral artistic gesture of the print art in a quite atypical painting, build on top of a core of an always unique monotype as a registration of a certain form, matter or structural texture. The next moment that concise base grows and spills over in an abundance of color attained with the aid of printing inks.
There is an additional feature of his work which, according to me, is a rather astonishing amalgamation between the Minimalism of permutations of simple forms and shapes, combined with the unleashed, voluptuous drive for the exotic scent of wild color.
The deep ink tones of these mystic seas sometimes get blasted by golden drops of monsoon rain; the mast tips of sailing ships of odd construction are illuminated by St. Elm’s fires – the constant companion of many a seafaring traveler’s tribulations; an albatross is spreading its wings and then they turn into a kid’s kite fluttered by the trade winds in the direction of the next mirage for the eternal Terra Incognita…
They are all sailing together in the same never determinable direction: Argo chasing the golden fleece; the errant ship of Odysseus, the Latin sails of Sindbad; the caravel Santa Maria towards the discovery of the New World; Magellan’s Victoria circumnavigating the globe; the damned galleon of the Flying Dutchman; Nansen’s polar Fram; captain Scott’s Terra Nova pursuing the South pole; Thor Heyerdahl’s balsa raft Kon Tiki going back in time braking the secrets of ancient sea travels… Every one of them turns out to be an island floating in the ocean of the perceptions for our world shaped by the voyages they made.
And there is yet something which explain s everything else and above all it explicates that mysterious archipelago, created by and with the paintings of an exhibition due to undertake an ultramarine cruise: Every one of us, humans, seems to be a spellbound floating island, a ship with a broken anchor chain carried away by the incomprehensible currents in an unknown sea-ocean… What is that – the journey of life, the pilgrimage of the destiny?
Or maybe that is familiar to the artist only. I have my strong doubts. He probably just has felt it more precise than others. Or he has just put down his sensations in his painting.