Education, show & exhibitions / CV


1995 M.A. - National Academy of Fine Arts, Sofia, Bulgaria, Department of Sculpture. 1994 The Concept - specialized course of Prof. Vassil Simidtchiev, professor in Academy KONFAC, Stockholm, Sweden. 1984 High School of Fine Arts, Plovdiv.

one-man show & projects:

  • 2011. The Red Box web project.
  • 2010. Urban Fossils, Photography project.
  • 2008. Belgrade, Serbia.
  • 2006. Novi Sad, Serbia.
  • 2002. Sidon, Lebanon.
  • 2001, 2000, 1998. Frankfurt/M, Germany.
  • 1997. Sofia. Ata-ray.
  • 1995. Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

group exhibitions:

  • 2011 - 2004. Plovdiv. Week of contemporary art.
  • 2009. SWEET. Plovdiv. Art Positive.
  • 2002. Sofia. National exhibitions Sculpture.
  • 2000. Sofia. National Architecture Review.
  • 1999. Plovdiv. Communication Front.
  • 1999. Plovdiv. The Alternative Gallery of the '90.
  • 1997. Sofia. From the object to the square.
  • 1997. Sofia. Ata-ray.
  • 1996. Osaka, Japan. OSAKA TRIENNIAL.
  • 1996. Plovdiv. International exhibition and workshop.
  • 1995. Sofia. International Autumn Salon.
  • 1994. Sofia. Reference point in the abstract.
  • 1994. Sofia. The Nail.
  • 1994. Sofia. Action: The Concept.

Projects as a member of 7+1 Art group

The "7+1" Art group (created at the beginning of 1997) has been working persistently along the lines of provocative artistic penetration into social space. Art Group 7+1 web site.

  • 2001. Sofia. The Napkin.
  • 2000. Plovdiv. Underground Filter.
  • 2000. Varna. 12 Hours.
  • 2000. Varna. BLUR.
  • 2000. Plovdiv. BLUR.
  • 2000. Sofia. Membrane.
  • 2000. Plovdiv. A Memory Analysis.
  • 1999. Ilindentsi. Something Down Up There.
  • 1999. Varna. A Bar.
  • 1999. Zlatograd. Water – Air.
  • 1998. Pernik. Filter.
  • 1998. Momchilovtsi. A Barrier – Verticals.
  • 1998. Sofia. Two Realities.
  • 1998. Plovdiv. Mikado.
  • 1997. Sofia. The Ark.


  • 2012 - 2006 Multiply Awards for web design.
  • 2002 Diploma of National exhibitions Sculpture.
  • 2000 Diploma of National Architecture Review.
  • 1998 - 1996 Award of the Union of Plovdiv Artists for Sculpture.
  • 1995 Award of the Union of the Bulgarian Artists for Sculpture.
  • 1994 - 1992 National Academic Foundation Prize for Fine Arts.
  • 1993 Fellowship for Sculpture of National Academy of Fine Arts.

Who is Yohannes Artinyan

I-CREATIV. STUDIO | Bulgaria, Plovdiv 4000 | 6B Kniaginia Maria Luiza Blvd. | Office 8. | tel. fax +359 32 651015 | |


see Map

It seems to be a pretentious title "How survival changes the survivors". You use mainly classical sculptural language, shouldn't you let the audience find its own reading?

Well, how can this happen?

By using some standard titles for the modern sculpture, something like "transformation," "deformation", etc. In order to allow the viewers define for themselves whether the artworks resemble SLUGS or something else.

OK, I see. The answer is NO, I couldn't do so. Exactly because this is not a classical abstract sculpture. The dolphin lives in the water and has fins, but it is not a fish, but mammal. The basic in this project is the concept not the form. I do not deny, however, that the problems of sculpture shape have always excited me.

Conceptual art and the sculptural shape searches are incompatible concepts. This is theoretical and practical nonsense. As an art critic and curator I consider the accuracy and clarity of concepts very important. You handle quite irresponsibly with terminology, don't you think?

I used the word concept, I never said that I make Conceptual art. If you prefer I will use the word idea or question, okay?

So what is the idea or the question in this project?

Actually, it is "How survival changes the survivors". I've lived most of my life in the Socialism and the so-called "transition period". "Transition" is the period when ownership changes in the former Eastern Bloc countries. This is a time of massive stealing, shift of values ​​and hard struggles within species. These struggles turned into civil wars in lot of places, thankfully, not in my country. That's all normal in economic and political point of view. Only the duration of the phenomenon is abnormal in that case. "Survival" became a main goal for a vast majority of our society, for those who didn't possess the qualities, possibilities or morality needed in order to take part in the massive stealing. Finally, it came to the destruction of public relations and hierarchies. The matter is not that the state structure is marginalized but the fact that “collective energy and will” no longer exist.

I cannot see the connection. Your works have a strong effect when talking about the shape, but you affirm that they are based on political problems, right?

No. It's not about politics, it's about biology, psychology and evolution. This transitional period helped me realize that time and space are crucial. What happens to us is not that important, it is essential how often or how long it happens. When it is long enough it changes our nature and turns us into something else. I deliberately don't use any ethical categories, I don't state "it turns us into something bad." Ethics has no place here.

How did you decide to use this amorphous shape?

For a long time I could not find "the language" for this story. To a large extent it was due to the fact that I accepted the matter as personal one or as an exception. I considered the shape should be very direct, specific and painfully documentary. About two years ago I decided to make an imaginary experiment and "to invent" species that evolved with the help of their defense mechanisms.

Why do you put "invent" in quotation marks and why do you have to invent anything when there are so many of those organisms? Organisms with armors and shells, organisms that use mimicry and so on.

I use the quotation marks for invent because I believe nothing can be invented. Everything that we believe we invented in fact already exists in one form or another. We are not so perfect so we can create complete abstractions. Real "surviving" organisms and "the invented" ones from that cycle have one main difference. For the snail the shell is a mean to protect an inner essential part of its body. For the organisms from THE SLUGS cycle there is nothing else but the shell. They have been defending themselves for so long that they have turned into defense themselves. They do not reproduce and do not eat, they accumulate energy from the environment only to calcify. They have undergone evolution in reverse manner. They turned into inorganic matter.

Are you identifying yourself with a SLUG?


Thank you for the interview.

ABOUT / How survival changes the survivors/

Cindy Wharton / interview

How It's Made

Technology & Materials

In the project are used synthetic and natural inorganic materials. Technologies that allow reproduction are not applied.

Photography & web site Technology

Photography - Yohannes Artinyan. The photos are taken by Nikon camera and lens system. Image processing by - i-creativ studio. Web site Technology - html5 / css3 / JavaScript / php. Design and code - Yohannes Artinian for i-creativ studio. The site uses fonts and JavaScript libraries, aside those developed specially for the project - for more information see Credits.

web site Design

Fluid Grids based on the golden ratio. Responsive Web Design.

Sculpture installations by Yohannes Artinyan

"The Slugs" project with the full title "How survival changes the survivors" was designed between 2010 and 2012.

2010 | 2012

& Credits