"When the compulsion of circumstances somehow confuses and upsets you, immediately enter into yourself and do not disturb the harmony more than necessary. This is how you will master it - by constantly entering into yourself." Marcus Aurelius
From April 27 to May 21, 2023, the works of the talented artist Zhivko Mutafchiev take us on a journey "Towards yourself" in the space of the Art Gallery Le Papillon. Twenty-two canvases, created for the seventh solo exhibition at Le Papillon of the expressive artist with a recognizable handwriting, convincingly carry the viewer's thought inward "towards oneself". With a contemporary minimalist expression, a sense of movement, at the same time with a dose of spontaneity and mood, lightness, airiness of the space, Mutafchiev's precise drawing attracts us into stories with the implied philosophical line, common to the canvases of the exhibition. The seemingly personal theme, but actually universal and as old as the world, makes us think about the existential question "Who are we, really?". Do we want to get to know ourselves and open the "door" of our soul? Do we pass this opportunity by or look for every loophole to peek inside? And what we really get to see, won't it be different from what we expected or suspected and surprise ourselves?
The exhibition maps the process of research, looking into the Self, viewed autobiographically and proceeding from the personal to the general. Zhivko Mutafchiev subtly prompts us to self-analysis, handling with ease the metaphorical symbols - the "door", as an opportunity; the "bird" bearing the symbol of freedom; the "small" and the "big man" - as a return to our initial self in a time of reckoning. "Towards yourself" is a theme that combines modern analysis with a pictorial technique and classical, timeless philosophical reasoning, which is reminded of by the title of the Bulgarian translation of one of the works of Marcus Aurelius.
Mutafchiev is one of the most prominent contemporary Bulgarian artists, an undisputed master of the fine line, of the bold combination of tones and halftones, of graphics, of expression. An artistwho likes to experiment with the painting technique, and with each subsequent exhibition he develops and modernizes his highly recognizable handwriting for many collectors. His individuality is distinctive and his style captures the viewer's attention. Zhivko Mutafchiev paints on the border between the real and the abstract. Creates the world of his characters, using all shades in the decomposition of colors, and contrasts enhance the various emotional states that the artistsuggests. His canvases radiate a lot of energy, impact with a determined application and layering of paints to achieve light. And his bold compositional decisions create a convincing sense of movement and dynamics. An authentic characteristic feature of the artist is the lines laid with a thin brush, affecting the viewer's imagination like coded textual messages.