Lyuben Malchev

Lyuben Malchev was born in 1992 in Kazanluk, Bulgaria. He studied painting at The National High School of Plastic Arts and Design “Academician Dechko Uzunov” in Kazanlak and the University of Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria. The young painter takes an active part in many group and solo exhibitions every year and has already won four awards. Some of his works are owned by the National Gallery of Moldova and by private collectors. 

Lyuben Malchev feels provoked by reality, much in the way a journalist would be. His works are prompted by the topics of terror, fear, injustice, and power found in the news. The painter is interested in the two sides of the human being. The first is that people are becoming smaller and less powerful than ever before. The other is human-caused destruction, murder, and the obsession with pseudo-beliefs. Lyben finds the madness of today’s world to be laughable but also terrifying and merciless.

Currently, the painter is shaped by the cultural environment that Kazanlak has formed in recent years. Lyuben Malchev has the peace of mind that comes with the knowledge he is surrounded by like-minded people with whose collaboration he helps the development of the local cultural life. Instead of the word “inspiration”, Lyuben prefers the phrase “artistic reaction”. What provokes his artistic reaction is the life and the world he lives in today.

The painter does not convey messages through his art on purpose but enjoys discovering the signs that unintentionally appear in his work as a result of his sensitivity.

“My works are provoked by the news, news reports, and photos that are imbued with terror, fear, injustice, and power. Monuments of the absurd and utopic ambitions.”


Currently a resident of Kazanlak, Bulgaria, Lyuben Malchev was born in 1992, in Stara Zagora. The artist graduated from The National High School of Plastic Arts and Design “Academician Dechko Uzunov” in Kazanlak and holds an MA in Painting from the University of Veliko Tarnovo.
Lyuben started drawing at a very young age. Encouragement by family and friends motivated him to keep drawing and instilled faith in his talent. Although Lyuben built his sensitivity for the world on his own, the painter considers that every artist needs guidance in the beginning, and he received it from his professors at the university. They taught him not just how to paint but also what it means to be an artist.


  • 2011 - Graduated from The National High School of Plastic Arts and Design “Academician Dechko Uzunov” in Kazanlak, where he studied painting.
  • 2016 - Graduated from the University of Veliko Tarnovo “SS Cyril and Methodius” with an MA in Painting, Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria.
  • Currently a doctoral student at the Department of Painting at VTU, Veliko Tarnovo.


  • 2015 - Group Exhibition "Local Scales", curator Iliyan Lalev, Veliko Tarnovo, "Rafael Mihailov" exhibition halls;
  • 2016 - Group Exhibition "Local Scales", curator Iliyan Lalev, Veliko Tarnovo, exhibition halls "Rafael Mihailov";
  • 2017 - Group Exhibition "Scale 1:1 New Social Realism", curator Iliyan Lalev, Sofia, exhibition halls "Shipka 6";
  • 2018 - Group Exhibition "Ateliers", with Krasimir Karabadjakov and Radoil Serafimov, Sofia, Stubel gallery;
  • 2019 - Group Exhibition "Scale 1:100,000 Art on Probation", curator Iliyan Lalev, city of Varna, City Art Gallery;
  • 2019 - "National competition-exhibition for painting and sculpture", Sofia, "Raiko Alexiev" exhibition halls;
  • 2019 - Participation after selection in "Portfolio Day", an initiative of contemporary art gallery "Sariev", Plovdiv;
  • 2021 - "Art start 2021" (Jump into the void), curators Vesela Nozharova and Boyana Dzhikova, Sofia, "Credo Bonum" gallery;
  • 2023 - "The Wall", solo exhibition with curator Plamen Petrov, Kazanlak Art Gallery;
  • 2023 - "Heerz Tooya" gallery, Veliko Tarnovo, group exhibition on the occasion of the "Varusha South" festival;
  • 2023 - Solo presentation in "1m² art", curator Martina Yordanova, Veliko Tarnovo.


  • 22016 - Award for a young author, Kazanlak;
  • 2016 - Award for a young author - Balkan quadrennial of painting "Myths and Legends of my people", Stara Zagora;
  • 2019 - Second prize for painting - Competition for young contemporary artists of "Expat Global Art";
  • 2021 - Second Prize for Painting - International Biennial of Painting, Chisinau, Moldova.

“I don’t want to be indifferent to all this madness, which is both laughable and terrifying, merciless.”


Taking a stance on social issues is essential to Lyuben as an artist. He contrasts art to the automated time flow that people can’t defy and that does not allow them to seek. He also finds it important to interpret an event and let the idea grow and unravel itself through art. The people in Lyuben’s works are usually small little spots reminiscent of ants, and in other cases, they are big silhouettes with big shadows. Even though his art is a reaction to an event, the objects and people in his works already have a different story, which he considers to be the most important thing. 

The Atelier

The preferred media of Lyuben Malchev is acrylic, but he doesn’t use a certain technique in the classical meaning of the word. He just cleans the shape, and that’s it. Lyuben believes that a true artist can foresee what is to come and that time proves and affirms the worth of artwork. He also believes that art can only exist within certain limits, which should stimulate the destruction of these limits. 

Photo by Johana Trayanova
Photo by Johana Trayanova
Photo by Johana Trayanova

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