Oil on canvas
Signed by the artist
Unframed dimensions: 48 x 52cm
It’s an enormous pleasure to have two of Yanko Tihov’s oil paintings in my Gallery for his solo exhibition. The exhibition focuses on the artist’s Passport Maps series of archival prints, including the European Series – after completing his first piece of Contemporary Europe, Tihov decided to match the same geographical area using boundaries from old, historic maps and original passport covers from the 1920s, 1930s and 1960s – Cold War period.
With each of these passport maps, Tihov hand-painted the texts, seals and coats of arms which adorn the covers with real 24 carat gold, accurately capturing their individual details. The paint adds a unique layer to each work which beautifully reflects the light and enlivens the surface.
Yanko’s skill as a painter is abundantly evident throughout his passport maps series and I was keen to have examples of his oil on canvas paintings as part of the exhibition. I’m absolutely delighted the artist provided two rarely available paintings for his St Andrews show.
In content, this is a particularly relevant work for his ‘Identities’ theme for his show. Anonymous pedestrians are making their way through a rainy city. The subdued colours give a sense of forlornness. I also find it interesting that the paint is applied to the linen canvas in such a way as to reflect the light on a rainy pavement, just as the artist uses shell gold, gold and silver leaf to reflect light from the surface of his passport series. – Beth Junor, Gallery Director