Bulgarian sculptor Rafail Georgiev creates monumental sculptures with a playful element

Rafail Georgiev: “Sub Water Landscape“.

In his works he deals with the “relationship between man as logos (rationality) and nature as chaos (irrationality)“

Successful monumental art is characterized by the fact that in it there is a harmony of the parts used. In the case of the Bulgarian sculptor Rafail Georgiev, artist and nickname Raffò, this combination of different forms in a unity stands out.

His principle of construction is in most cases quite simple: the starting point is a geometric shape, and from it are worked out natural forms. On a web page it is said: “I have one general dialog that I am interested and it’s about the relation between the human as Logos (rationality) and the Nature as a Chaos (irrationality).“

But in order not to place him in the field of engineering design or product design, one must add another guideline to his work. On the one hand, he is a Homo Faber, i.e., a person who wants to create something, he writes; on the other hand, he is also a Homo Ludens, i.e., someone who simply plays, without anything more than pleasure having to come out of it.

It is fascinating how clearly he knows how to imbue his works with the playful element. Because playing is also always joy, and so good humor is an expression that his works carry.

Perhaps this message simply results from the contrast between the rational and the irrational, but perhaps it arises from triggered thinking that he generates in the viewer’s mind.

Rafail Georgiev: “Our Solar System“.

For example, the column “Our Solar System“: The work is actually designed in such a way that you can trace the nightly path of a star across the sky, and you inevitably think about what the artist might have wanted to tell us by looking freely through the holes in the stone.

Rafail Georgiev: “Radio Kills the Video Star“.

Or those tubes that he placed next to each other,, maybe so that you go around and look for their sounds.

Rafail Georgiev: „Formations“.

It is striking that he has written a short explanation for each of his works. Works with the designation “Untitled“ do not exist with him. Occasionally, however, the explanations are intellectual heavy lifting and have nothing left of the playfulness of his works.

Raffò comes from a family of artists. He came to sculpture the easy way, as a Bulgarian site tells us: “When he was 4 or 5 years old, his father gave him a piece of clay, which Rafail modeled for hours.“

Rafail Georgiev: “Mental Curves“.Rafail Georgiev: “I’m Free From Pandora“.

After his early years in northern Bulgaria in the countryside (“the power of nature and the beauty of the old forests,“ he recalls), the family moved to the capital, Sofia. Raffò later earned a bachelor’s degree at the Academy of Fine Arts and studied sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome.

He now has his own studio in Sofia. He has participated in many sculpture symposiums worldwide. His works can be found on many continents in public spaces and private collections.

He is a member of the National Academy of Art in Sofia and has lectureships there and at the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering, and Geodesy.

Rafail Georgiev (1, 2)

Photos: Rafail Georgiev

Rafail Georgiev: “Temple of Elements“.Rafail Georgiev: “Dissolving Tensions“.Rafail Georgiev (Raffò).

(24.03.2023, USA:03.23.2023)