Sasho Violetov

Sasho Violetov, born Alexander Alexandrov, is a Sofia-based artist known for his talent in painting, drawing, and mixed media. With numerous participations in exhibitions and biennials in Bulgaria and the UK, he was nominated for the BAZA Award for Contemporary Art in both 2017 and 2019. In his works, Sasho utilises humour as a key element and is largely inspired by architecture, short and stop-motion films, prose, mental archetypes, and upside-down thinking in general.

Residing in the capital of Bulgaria – Sofia, Sasho, as an artist, has been greatly influenced by the city and its evolution over the years. Most of his art addresses urban life problems, such as individual deformations triggered by the daily struggles people face with their surroundings. The city’s prominent presence can be seen in each piece, capturing the essence of society and its contemporary issues.

Sasho Violetov is the artistic alias of Alexander Alexandrov. Sasho is shortened from Alexander in Bulgarian. He also decided to adopt his mother’s family name, Violetov. He loves the fact that Violetov derives from the color violet, which he believes suits him well.

Sasho Violetov is a firm believer that an artist shouldn’t target a certain audience or conform to the tastes of other people. Trying to please potential collectors would make his work insincere, and being honest is the only way Sasho knows. He doesn’t use art to send a message and admits that he might have fallen into the trap of guided interpretation but only unintentionally. The context of his works is not related to a personal story but rather to the world we live in and the people who inhabit it. Although keenly interested in social and political issues, the artist – consciously or not – has not allowed them to find a place in his works. Sasho prefers not to confine art in a definite interpretative frame.

"I don't create works for my audience; rather, I try to create an audience for my works!"


Sasho holds a BA and MA in Mural Painting from The National Academy of Arts in Sofia. He studied at Fine Art Academy in Brescia, Italy, during a semester-long experience in 2013, and had the opportunity to reside in Paris as part of the Cite Internationale des Arts residential program in the spring of 2022.

Throughout his artistic career, Sasho Violetov has participated in various solo and group exhibitions and festivals within Bulgaria and the UK. He was nominated twice for the prestigious BAZA Award for Contemporary Art - in 2017 and 2019. Sasho primarily focuses on painting, drawing, and mixed media, while incorporating humour as a central element of his practice. His works are known to analyse the creation process and infrastructures of art.

The artist uses canvas and paint; however, he doesn’t limit himself if he has an idea applicable to another medium. He has experience with wall painting, murals, and all sorts of art installations, including work with plastic and other materials.

Solo exhibitions:

  • 2020 Artist of the Day, Depoo Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 2016 Spectators, [a]cube contemporary Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 2012 Entr’acte, National Theatre Ivan Vazov, Sofia, Bulgaria

Group exhibitions:

  • 2022 Limited Prints Only vol. 2, Depoo Gallery, Sofia
  • 2022 11TH Biennale of small forms, Iliya Beshkov Gallery, Pleven, Bulgaria
  • 2022 MOST Contemporary art competition, Vivacom Art Hall, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 2021 Limited Prints Only, Depoo Gallery, Sofia
  • 2020 Contemporary Young Artist Award, The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle, UK
  • 2020 Corridor Exhibition Vol.5, North London Art & Design Hub, London, UK
  • 2019 Corridor Exhibition Vol.4, North London Art & Design Hub, London, UK
  • 2019 National exhibition “Young Bulgarian Artists”, Rayko Aleksiev Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 2019 BAZA Award for contemporary art - nominees, Curator Daniela Radeva, Sofia City Art Gallery, Bulgaria
  • 2019 Objectively (in)correct, curator Martina Stefanova, Port. A Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 2018 Art Idea-Art Alley Artfest, Contemporary Art in Public, Curator Martina Stefanova, Pazardzhik, Bulgaria
  • 2018 Contemporary art competition, Curator Neda Mitkovska, Nuance Art Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 2017 LET THEM EAT FAKE, curator Anna Choutova, BAD ART Gallery, London, UK
  • 2017 BAZA Award for contemporary art - nominees, Curator Daniela Radeva, Sofia City Art Gallery, Bulgaria
  • 2016 Lifestyles and Still Life, Curator Vera Mlechevska, LUBOMIROV/ANGUS-HUGHES Gallery, London, UK
  • 2016 Alianz Bulgaria, Union of the Artists in Bulgaria Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 2016 42’ Abstract, A[Cube] Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 2015 Do you understand me? I understand you, Curator Ivana Nencheva, The Fridge Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria

Media publications:

  • 2022 Dancegeist magazine, April issue
  • 2021 Contemporary Identities Art Magazine, ISSUE #12, December

I remember my first encounters with contemporary art in Boyan Dobrev’s classes when he took out albums of Basquiat, Keith Haring, Chuck Close, Lucian Freud, minimalists, and conceptualists, and piled them up on the table in front of us. I then realized that this was my thing.


Through my work, I explore the relationships between people, memory, global identity, and the question of personality survival in the modern world, mixed with subtle irony. The capital city, and the city in general, definitely left their mark on my work. Most of the topics that find a place in my art are typically the problems of urban people.

The Atelier

Working from my atelier, I find inspiration from diverse sources and my city – Sofia. Grounded in urban life experiences, my work tackles contemporary societal issues by exploring relationships between people, memory, global identity, and personality survival in today’s world.

Photo by Dimitar Dimitrov
Photo by Dimitar Dimitrov
Photo by Dimitar Dimitrov

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