I was born in the village where I spent my childhood and teen years. Many of my stories relate to the village: Cow yards, neighbours gossiping, rural suburbs, rural toil. Even my landscapes from Sofia are the suburbs rather than the noisy city centre. The characters in my paintings are working people, often elderly, those suffering…AsVihra puts it – "Bulgaria’s period under the socialist regime still arouses complex emotions. The art from this period is, variously, denied, ignored or treated as a collector’s genre rather than appreciated individually. But it is part of our cultural heritage and Vassil Valev’s work offers a rare depth". Whether showing tobacco harvesters, Iraqi nomads or family groups, the works (often gouache) show a deep human sympathy.
Vihra does not have a lot of space in her small gallery - but this time her exhibition offers not only the oils on the wall but a collection of unmounted aquarelles in folders. The average price is about 500 levs. Some of them, for me, have the Ilyia Beshkov touch.
All this in addition to the display of oils and small scupltures in the entrance area from other living artists always makes her gallery a joy to visit.