When a publication called “Time Out Dubai” writes about some Bulgaria village, located to the north of Plovdiv, something must have happened there. Indeed, the face of “His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai” was painted onto a wall there. The Sheikh may recognize all countries on the planet, but he does not seem to mind being painted onto a wall. How generous. Maybe that’s because he is not alone.
The walls in Staro Zhelezare are painted with more faces, among them inhabitants of the village, Frida Kahlo, John Lennon, Joseph Beuys, but also more obscure figures of the past and present, including Vladimir Putin, General Jauzelski and Yassir Arafat. Yes, and many more.
This excellent idea came from somewhere. The genius Bulgarian artist Ventzislav Piriankov, a Bulgarian expat in Poland, came up with this idea. He, along with 20 students of the local Piriankov Art Center, started painting in spring. On July 30th, 2016, they officially inaugurated the project, drawing lots of visitors to a place absolutely nobody used to care about. What an excellent idea.
It wasn’t the first time Piriankov has come up with an art festival in his village. In 2014, the Staro Zhelezare Contemporary Art Festival” was on. It also featured cunning art on walls.
On his flickr page, the 45-year-old artist is showing quite a number of stunning pictures. Some are provocative, some sexy, others too beautiful to be real. Sexuality is a big subject for Piriankov, but so are many other aspects, including making boring villages famous. Hats off!
(Photos: Ventzislav Piriankov)