Monika Popova

Born in the heart of Sofia, Bulgaria, Monika Popova has always felt deeply connected with the urban space around her. Since her early childhood, she has been pursuing her passion for painting and expressing personal emotions through her work, drawing on the strength within herself. Monika often experiments with abstract shapes and unconventional techniques unique to her art.

Monika is an internationally recognised artist who has specialised in places such as “Cité Des Arts” (1996 and 2019), Paris; GEDOK (2015), Munich; “Kunstlerhaus” (2011). Never settling for complacency or accepting limitations, she continually seeks inspiration from various sources – including contemporary art forums such as the Venetian Biennale. As her artwork evolves, so does her understanding of and appreciation for diverse influences.

“When I paint or create any form of art, it’s not just about expressing my emotions; I also feel an immense sense of inner strength. I pour my soul into my artworks because genuineness keeps me connected to my audience – especially the young generation who see value and depth in what I do.”

Ever-evolving as an artist, Monika has a primary toolkit that includes acrylic drawing, ink painting, oil painting, and embroidery (to name but a few). She injects subtle symbolism unique to each piece, which resonates deeply with the viewer. Love is involved in Monika’s choice of ceramics as a specialisation, just as in all other essential aspects of her life.

"Abstract shapes mean freedom in exploring different styles without boundaries - they allow me versatility while maintaining my identity."

Bio

Monika's association with creative expression began during her childhood days spent doing small drawings on themes such as motherhood, marriage, love, eroticism and Ancient Egypt – offering glimpses into various aspects of life through linear shapes and visuals.

Monika honours her connection with those who appreciate her work by remaining true to herself and her creative voice. Incorporating hidden messages draws enthusiasts closer, allowing them to explore her works of art and love further, forging newfound discoveries that transcend the effect of time on the audiences' interpretations of Monika's creations.

Monika Popova was born on 10th December 1968 in Sofia, Bulgaria. Today, she is an academic teacher at New Bulgarian University.

Academic Position: Art Docent at NBU (Ceramics)
PhD in Egyptology (within NBU’s Egyptology program; interdisciplinary topic “Sculpture during the times of Theban kings”)

Education:
Master’s Degree in Ceramics
Master’s Degree in Egyptology at NBU (full-semester Master’s thesis defended)

Community Service (scientific and community organisations membership, editorial boards, and others)
Union of Bulgarian Artists (UBA) Member since 1996;
Bulgarian Institute of Egyptology Member since 2009;
Bulgarian Egyptology Association Member since 2017;

Community Service (scientific and community organisations membership, editorial boards, and others)Involvement in National and International Projects
She has participated in over 40 individual exhibitions and over 100 collective projects in Bulgaria and abroad between 1992 and 2018.
Some of those include:

  • 2000-2019 – Organization and participation in all students’ exhibitions at the Ceramics Department of NBU.
  • 2002 – Youth Exhibition to “Saints Cyril and Methodius” Foundation, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 2002/2003/2004 – “International symposium for exterior plastic arts – a Sea of Shapes”, Golden Sands, Bulgaria
  • 2003 – “Nigredo” (a co-project between M. Popova and G.Penkova, Central Baths, Sofia; Ancient Baths, Plovdiv; Sofia Central Prison, Bulgaria
  • 2004 – “August and the Arts”, Varna, Bulgaria
  • 2004 – “Mothers and Daughters” (international travelling project, curated by Claudia-Maria Luenig, Austria)
  • 2004 – “International Biennale for Contemporary Art”, Shumen, Bulgaria
  • 2006/2008 – “M-Tel Awards for Contemporary Bulgarian Art”, Austria 2007, Bulgaria 2009
  • 2010 – Specialization in “Kunstlerhaus” Arts Center, Schwandorf, Germany
  • 2011/2012/2013 – International Autumn and Spring Arts Salons, Pomorie, Bulgaria
  • 2012 – Two stages of the Contemporary Arts Competition hosted by “Allianz”, Bulgaria
  • 2015 – Specialization in the “GEDOK” Arts Center, Munich, Germany
  • 2015 – “Maximum Amount of Pain”, “Industrial” Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 2016 – “SIEVE”, “Rayko Aleksiev” Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 2016 – “Torn and Sewn”, “Art-Alley” Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 2017 – “1+1=1+1”, Contemporary Arts Gallery (UBA), 6 Shipka Street, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 2019 – “Drawings Before Bedtime”, drawings exhibition, “Art-Alley” Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 2019 – Painting, “Upper-Layer Dots” (large-scale) – “Red Dot” Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 2019 – Ceramics and Embroidery, “The Black Sewn”, “Arosita” Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 2019 – Paintings, Drawings, Ceramics, “The Swimmer”, “Intro” Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 2021 – Paintings, Drawings, Ceramics, “Vacuum”, “Rayko Aleksiev” Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 2019 – Paintings, Drawings, Ceramics, “The Swimmer”, “Intro” Gallery, Sofia
  • 2021 – Paintings, Drawings, Ceramics, “Vacuum”, “Raiko Aleksiev” Gallery, Sofia

Awards:

  • 1996 – Competition and Specialization at “Des Art Studio”, Paris, France
  • 1998 – Young Author Award from the French International Arts Academy, Paris, France
  • 2000 – Young Author Award from “Irida” Gallery
  • 2002 – 1st Place Award for Young Author from “Saints Cyril and Methodius” Foundation
  • 2002 – 1st Place for Exterior Plastics “Hands of Verses“ at the “Sea of Shapes” Open Air, Golden Sands
  • 2011 – Competition and Specialization at the “Kunstlerhaus” Art Center, Schwandorf, Germany
  • 2013 – “Vladimir Dimitrov-Maistora” 2012 Award Nominee for Painting
  • 2015 – Competition and Specialization at the GEDOK Arts Center, Munich, Germany
  • 2018 – Participation and Award Nomination in four editions of Contemporary Arts Competition by “Allianz”, Bulgaria

“My ultimate dream is to have a gigantic studio where enormous paintings and sculptures come alive – these larger-than-life creations would reflect my desire for growth as an artist.”

Artworks

Incorporating hidden messages draws enthusiasts closer, allowing them to explore her works of art and love further, forging newfound discoveries that transcend the effect of time on the audiences’ interpretations of Monika’s creations.

The Atelier

Monika dreams of a grand atelier where she will create huge paintings and sculptures. She believes her energetic spirit and desire for grandiose accomplishments can secure her a spot in a prestigious event such as the Venetian Biennale, unlocking her potential and making her talent even more evident.

Photo by Dimitar Dimitrov
Photo by Dimitar Dimitrov
open call
Photo by Dimitar Dimitrov

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