Monday, February 22, 2010

On the Way to the Imaginarium

In addition to innovative Flat Iron happenings of late (The "Now You See It, Now You Don't" show) new Wicker Park art neighbors like the Coalition Gallery and Jackson Junge are staying open late on First Fridays to showcase their galleries as well as to bring more art lovers to the neighborhood. In BizSpeak I think this is called a "win-win." Is there a name for it in the Art World, too? 


Pictured are "Mirror World" by Vladimir Ovtcharov and "Serenity," by Daniela Ovtcharov. Click on the images to enlarge them. )

For Immediate Release:  February 17, 2010

Media Contact:   Chris Jackson or Lisa Elkuss   773-227-7900



Artwork of Vladimir and  Daniela Ovtcharov

Special Exhibit    Jackson Junge Gallery   March 2 – 21, 2010

Opening Reception Friday, March 5, 5pm – 9pm


The artwork of Vladimir and Daniela Ovtcharov will be featured in a special exhibit titled “On The Way To Imaginarium” at the Jackson Junge Gallery, 1389 N. Milwaukee Ave., March 2 – 21, 2010.  An opening reception, free to the public, will be held Friday, March 5th from 5pm – 9pm. Both artists will be present at the opening event.


Described as “Visionary Fantasy,” the art created by this husband / wife team tell stories drawn from the artists’ vivid imaginations as well as worldwide mythologies and fables.  Thirty acrylic, oil and mixed media pieces will be on the display.  The artists utilize techniques of the European Renaissance masters to convey modern-day themes.   Natives of Bulgaria, the Ovtcharovs currently reside in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The show at the Jackson Junge Gallery offers a rare opportunity for Chicagoans to enjoy their work.


Vladimir and Daniela met nearly twenty-five years ago while attending the National Academy of Fine Art in Sofia, Bulgaria.  While each possesses a distinct style, their art is complementary and the couple always show their work together.


Daniela originally studied art conservation and restoration. Upon graduation from art school she applied her skills to deteriorating art work from 14th and 15th century Europe.  There is clear evidence of that period in her own creations.  “My women have the soft, ethereal beauty of females in renaissance paintings,” says the artist.


Vladimir’s art also incorporates old European techniques while capturing modern human behavior and social themes.  Both artists are versatile engaging with a variety of mediums. Their work includes paintings, mixed media, jewelry, sculpture and other art forms.


“People are attracted to our work for a variety of reasons,” says Vladimir.  “The main draw seems to be the element of fantasy.  Our paintings are open to interpretation; we don’t try to impose our views. We encourage people to use their imagination and create their own meaning.”





Mirror World: Vladimir Ovtcharov, Mixed Media, 35” x 23”, 2009

Two women posed side by side appear to be the mirror image of one another. Upon closer inspection subtle differences emerge in facial features, hand positions and costume. Headdresses in the shape of ancient ships contain miniature cities, suggesting the strength and power of the “individual” women supporting them.  This mixed media piece is a replica of the artist’s original acrylic painting. Covered in a clear resin the addition of gold leaf, dry leaf, glass and other materials add texture, dimension and a new aesthetic to the work.


Beauty and Her Beast IV:  Vladimir Ovtcharov, Acrylic, 18” x 24”, 2009

A beautiful woman cuddles a troll-like creature who is ensconced in a princely crown. While most people would judge the creature to be “ugly” there is an endearing quality as he gazes at the woman with adoration.  This is one of four pieces in a series of Beauty / Beast paintings by the artist. Vladimir pursues the theme as one indicative of life…the balance between opposites; the subjective nature of what is beautiful and good.


Serenity:  Daniela Ovtcharov, Oil, 42” x 24”, 2009

In recent years the artist has painted a series of nude women nestled in sea shells. In this painting a lovely female is snuggled into the pearly mouth of a conch shell.  Viewers read different symbolism into the image…the protection of the womb…Venus rising out of the clam shell free of inhibition and fear…the strength encompassed in a delicate shell.  The colors in the piece are notably muted from the bold reds, oranges and blues more typical of Daniela’s work. Winter whites provide a sense of peace, harmony and serenity.


The Ovtcharovs recently published a book that features their work along with narrative composed by their daughter. The book, also entitled “On The Way To Imaginarium,” is available for purchase at the Jackson Junge Gallery for the run of the show. The artists will sign copies at the March 5th reception.


The Jackson Junge Gallery features the work of Laura Lee Junge and other contemporary artists. The Gallery is open six days a week, free of charge. Hours are Tuesday – Friday: 10am – 7pm, Saturday: 10am – 6pm, Sunday: Noon – 5pm.


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High resolution images are available upon request.                                              



Jackson Junge Gallery



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