Rafail Lubomirov Georgiev - Raffò
Sculpture/Visual art/3D Concepts
Artist Statements and Concepts
Not long after I started to make art professionally I realized that my sculptures are incorporating and resembled in their implied meaning clearly the basic elements of nature. As the wind spins the air blows into the open volumes of the rock which has become a very important element of creation. Likewise, the water that is modeling the stone by rotating it in the rapids of the rivers. I want to give meaning to the matter, after being guided by the natural elements, such as the inspiration and substance of my artistic path. As a matter of fact, the research I have been making, through different scientific disciplines such as geometry and anatomy, has been giving me rather interesting results in the territory of an experiment. I found that a combination of geometric laws and anatomical truths, is not destroying the conditionality in art, but rather creates her.
The results of my thoughts that I mentioned above are visualized through the series of Temples, Arches, and Columns. This series of different public sculptures, which I have been making in different places of the world in particular: “Temple of the elements” (Italy, 2012), ”In the maternal womb” (Italy,2014, Israel, 2017), ”That future is hiding in a past harmony”(Israel,2015), "Mental Curves"(Romania, 2017) “Four genetic gates"(Italy, 2013), “Floyd column”(Germany,2013), “Floyd column 2”(Italy, 2014), “Floyd arch”(France,2015) and “Internal movement”(France, Germany 2016). Internal movement of Floyds and substances in the interior volumes of the stone or the wood are visualized through simple geometrical waves inside the archetypical structures such as the column, the arch, and the temple. I am using monochromatic colors in some of the sculptures to distinguish visually the interior from the exterior, which is an important issue for my works. The void spaces inside the mass have more importance than the exterior contour of the block in this series of works.
The project called "Nature always finds its way“, which is a particular composition between the Platonic solids and sea animals, such as the sea urchins and sea barnacles. The synthesized forms of the sea animals are emerging from open craters inside the perfect shape of the regular polyhedral solid. The first generated public sculpture from this series is on a monumental scale and it is called the “Organic cube”(South of Korea, 2015), which I realized from 14 tones of a single block of granite.
In 2016 a series of sculptures with the conceptual name “Dissolving” have begun their life. In this project I am interested to make visible some hidden processes for instance: the separation and dissolving of the specific mass of stone from the inside and at some point pausing this process in order to leave minimal contact between the splitting parts. The sculptures which are following this concept are: “Dissolving” (Italy,2016), “Dissolving out” (Germany,2016), and “Dissolving tensions” (Chili,2016).
In Dissolving tensions, there is a paradox, between the main concept and the force of the physic. Putting almost three tonnes of solid material like a stone into the "air" it makes the game of re-composing the form even more sophisticated. The paradox is in the internal separation of the form that brings it to its physical extremity of three points of contact.
The concept which I had successfully accomplished in 2017, through the realization of three public sculptures, was related to musical instruments and in particular the wind horns. The winding horns are ancient and archetypal musical instruments that had been in use in the first human civilizations. The first of my sculptures that is associated with this idea is inspired by the Scandinavian Vikings and their mythology - “Kattegat Horns” (Denmark, 2017). The following project created for the city Sevlievo in Bulgaria again resembles of the curved horns, but this time the sculpture “Music box” (Bulgaria,2017) reminds more of a music jukebox emerging from a rock. Furthermore, in the next sculpture of this series called “Sound the horns” (Turkey,2017) I had the attention to create an abstract multi-horn instrument, which reminds me of a nonexisting church organ.
In the spirit of the forms that associate visually and conceptually with the music and the sound, the sculpture "Radio killed the video star" (Turkey 2019) was made from hard diabase granite.
In the "Cubes and volumes" series the main topic is the motions and dynamic dance between geometrical cubic forms and raw volumes carved from the stone mass. These objects are mutating one from another while they are intersecting into their diagonals inside the block of stone. The sharp 90 degrees angles are representing the formal consciousness and rationality of humans. On the other hand, the chaotic forms that are penetrating the cubes are representing the unexpected unconscious and also the chaotic asymmetric structure of living nature. Some public sculptures from this series are: “I’m free from Pandora”(Israel,2018), “Dancing cubes and volumes ”(Italy,2019), “Dancing cubes and volumes 2”(Germany,2019), "InSideOutSideIn" (Bulgaria,2020), “I’m free from Pandora”(France,2022),
In the sculpture project that I called “Formations”(Canada,2018) I had a challenging provocation, which was to use totally unformed granite blocks. However, studying the form of the natural rock I manage to come up with a solution, which basically keeps 60% of the original natural shapes untouched and the rest of the mass that I had to sculpt has associated me with ‘formations’ or ‘re-formations’ of the material from which the rock it is made off. Therefore, in this sculpture, I managed to follow the ‘casually’ shaped rock, which has given me the intuition on how to move forward with the project.
"Formations" (China 2022) is a project for monumental sculpture with highly aesthetic values of form and consistency. The major topic of the sculpture is the re-forming of the usual geometry of the parallel prisms, which can be seen in modern and post-modern architecture, into new dimensions of the form. The new form which is arriving is through organic forms that are participating in the transformation. The sculpture has the goal to show this process and to take the visitors to this visual spectacle between sharp lines, raw exterior walls, and organic volumes inside.
Most of the projects that I made are from natural stone, bronze, wood, and stainless steel, but there are no limits to the variety of materials for my ideas. Since I started sculpting I’ve worked with all classical material and I’m open to discovering and experimenting personally with unconventional new materials and matters.
Works of Raffò are situated in private or municipal urban spaces and gardens in different countries like Italy, Bulgaria, Israel, Costa Rica, South Korea, Chile, Germany, Turkey, Canada, France, Taiwan, China, Romania, and Denmark.
2021 - Ph.D. candidate in the National Academy of Art, Sofia, Bulgaria
2011 – 2013 Academy of Fine Arts in Rome, Italy /Master degree of Environmental sculpture In the course of Prof. ssa Oriana Impei
2006 – 2010 National Academy of Art, Sofia / Bachelor degree of Sculpture
in the course of Prof. Krum Damianov
2022 The 8th “Liu Kaiqu Award” International Sculpture Exhibition, China – Excellence Prize
2016 Biennale de Sculpture in Yerres, France - Jury Prize
2015 Biennale De Sologne, wood symposium in Chaumont-Sur-Tharonne, France - Jury Prize
2013 5th International Sculpture Symposium in Bad Salzungen,
Germany – Artist Prize
- "Formations", located in Kiryat Bialik, Israel
- "Memories of the Elements", located in Saint-Georges, Quebec, Canada
- Bas-relief of Academician Nikola Obreshkov, located in Razgrad, Bulgaria
- “Formations", located in the Wuhu Sculpture Park in the city of Wuhu, Anhui Province, China.
- “Mental curves", located in the town of Bad Salzungen, Thuringia, Germany
- “In the mother womb", located in the town of Saint Blasien, Schwarzwald, Germany
- “I am free from Pandora v2, located in the Domaine Départemental de Bayssan, France
- “InSideOutSideIn”, located in the city of Mezdra, Bulgaria
- “Radio kills the video star”, located in the city of Alanya, Turkey
- “Our solar system”, located in the Town park of Kenzingen, Schwarzwald, Germany
- “Dancing cubes and volumes 2”, located in National Park Hainich, Behringer, Germany
- “Dancing cubes and volumes”, located in Cavriglia, Toscana, Italy
- “Sound the horns”, located in municipality gardens of Manavgad, Turkey
- “In the mother womb”, located in Ma’ale Adumim, Israel
- “Mental Curves”, located in the city of Craiova, Romania
- “Music box”, located in front of the central police station in Sevlievo, Bulgaria
- “Kattegat horns”, located inside city hospital-lobby in Sonderborg, Denmark
- “Night watch”, located in a central municipality building in Santa Anna, San Jose, Costa Rica
- “Colony conglomerate”, located in the Mall area in Givat Shmuel, Israel
- “Dissolving tensions”, located in Nuestros Parques central parks in Santiago De Chile, Chile
- “Dissolving”, located in the town of Vezza d’Olio, Brescia, Italy
- “Sub water landscape”, located in the yacht harbor of Cetraro, Calabria, Italy
- “Internal movement blue”, located in the municipality building in Yerres(Paris), France
- “The wheel of knowledge”, located in the municipality of Rishon LeZion, Israel
- “In the mother womb”, located in the municipality gardens of Cassino in Lazio, Italy
- “Temple of the elements”, located in Palombara Sabina, Italy
- “Golden formation”, located in BenQ Foundation collection in Taiwan
- “Floyd Arch”, located in the town of Chaumont-Sur-Tharonne, France
- "Ludogorie" - National exhibition in the city hall gallery in Razgrad, Bulgaria
- "Friends" - National exhibition in the city hall gallery in Razgrad, Bulgaria
- "The 8th “Liu Kaiqu Award” International Sculpture Exhibition, Wuhu, Anhui Province, China
- "Artisti fra Bulgaria e Italia" - Group exhibition in the gallery "Bulgaria" in Rome, Italy
- "Small Monuments" - solo exhibition in Serdica art gallery in Sofia, Bulgaria
- ROOTS: 16 Contemporary Sculptors on Galin Malakchiev,
The National Gallery // Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art
- "The quest for the soul inside the stone - Търсене в душата на камъка" - solo exhibition in the Portal Club&Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria
- Fuqing 1st International Sculpture Exhibition in Fuqing city, Fujian Province, China
- "C (Carbon)" Group show in The Red Dot Gallery in Sofia
- 25 years anniversary of gallery Season in Sofia
- "State of mind", a group show in Gallery 2.0 in Sofia
- Participation in a group exhibition in gallery Season in Sofia
- Exhibition “Sculpture of father and son”, City Hall gallery in Razgrad, Bulgaria
- Exhibition of shelter in Kosa gallery space, Seoul, South of Korea
- "Organic Matrices" exhibition show with Alain Eschenlauer in The Red Dot Gallery in Sofia
- Participation in the exhibition “Chines and Italian Artist”, Palazzo Velli(Trastevere), Rome, Italy
- Participation in exhibition “Arts Week in Rome “, Rome, Italy
- International Sculpture Exhibition in Museum of Edgardo Mannucci, Arcevia, Italy
- Festival del Verde e del Paesaggio – Stone workshop, Auditorium Parco della Musica, Rome, Italy
- Participation in the exhibition “Francesco, il Santo. Una leggenda che continua” in Rieti, Italy
- International contemporary stone exhibition – “The Living Stone” in Museum of Antiquarium in Papasidero – Cosenza, Italy
- Participation in sculpture exposition in Villa Gregoriana – Tivoli ,Italy
- Participation in the exhibition “Bulgaria in four arts” in Bulgarian Embassy in Rome, opened by the President of Republica Bulgaria – Rossen Plevneliev
- Participation in a group sculpture exposition “From a heart and other materials” in Bulgarian Academy of Science – Sofia, Bulgaria
- Project “The Dream of the City”, organized by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sofia, Bulgaria
- Permanent sculpture exposition Terra 2000, Cherven Briag, Bulgaria
- Presentation of the Sculpture, Tolentino, Italy
- Students exhibition from Academy of Fine Art Macerata – Sant’Ippolito (Scopire in Piazza),Italy
- Students exhibition from National Academy of Art Sofia in Prague and Istanbul
- 2nd International Sculpture Symposium in Kiryat Bialik, Israel
- 9th International Sculpture Symposium in Saint-Georges, Quèbec, Canada
- 9th International Sculpture Symposium in Bad Salzungen, Germany
- 25th International Sculpture Symposium in Saint Blasien, Germany
- 22nd International marble sculpture symposium in St. Bèat, France
- 3rd National sculpture Plein air "Pantheon of the Bulgarian
Khan's, Tzar's, and Voivoda's in the village of Rayiuvtzi, Bulgaria
- 1st International residency of monumental marble sculpture in Beziers, France
- 7th National sculpture symposium in Mezdra, Bulgaria
- 16th International sculpture symposium in Alanya, Turkey
- 7th International sculpture symposium in Kenzingen, Germany
- 21st International sculpture symposium in Behringen, Germany
- 1st International Sculpture Sculpture Symposium "Pietra Sublime, Cavriglia, Italy
- 4th International Sculpture Symposium "Sculpture Saint John" in SJ, Canada
- 1st International Sculpture Sculpture Symposium in Yavne, Israel
- 3rd International Sculpture Symposium in Manavgat, Turkey
- 4th International Sculpture Symposium in Ma'ale Adumim, Israel
- 5th International Sculpture Symposium “The ways of Brancusi” in Craiova, Romania
- 4th International Sculpture Symposium in Sevlievo, Bulgaria
- 6th International Sculpture Symposium in Sønderborg, Denmark
- 4th International Sculpture Symposium in Santa Ana, Costa Rica
- 1st International Stone Sculpture Symposium in Givat Shmuel, Israel
- 3rd International Sculpture Symposium Nuestros Parques in Santiago De Chile, Chile
- 21st International Sculpture Symposium in Sankt Blasien, Germany
- 6th International Sculpture Symposium in Bad Salzungen,Germany
- 2nd International Stone Sculpture Symposium Borom in Vezza d'Olio (BS), Italy
- International Stone Sculpture Symposium in Cetraro (CS), Italy
- Biennale de Sculpture in Yerres, France - Jury Prize
- International Stone Sculpture Symposium in Rishon LeZion,Israel
- Biennale De Sologne, wood symposium in Chaumont-Sur-Tharonne, France - Jury Prize
- 4th Daekyo International Symposium in Seoul, South of Korea
- 25th International Sculpture Symposium “Stone in the Galilee” in Ma’alot-Tarshiha, Israel
- 1st Stone Sculpture Symposium in Cassino , Italy
- Stone Sculpture Symposium in Calcata, Italy
- 5th International Sculpture Symposium in Bad Salzungen,
Germany – Artist Prize
- Stone Sculpture Symposium in Palombara Sabina –
Park of Lucretili mountains, Italy
- Wood Symposium in village Oriahovitsa, Bulgaria, organized by “Prof. Minko Balkanski” Foundation
Since 2022 Member of a Union of Bulgarian Artists, Sculpture, IAA / UNESCO/
Since 2019 Member of the International Association for Monumental Sculpture Events - AIESM
Since 2018 Member of the International sculpture Alliance - ISSA
Certificate obtained in 2020 from the International Sculpture Alliance ISSA
that Rafail Georgiev has installed Monumental sculptures in more
then 10 countries.
- 4th Plan-air for students from the National Academy of fine art in Sofia in sculpture and painting in the Bulgarian village Shishkovtsi "The spirit of Maystora" // Group teacher, Mentor, and logistics.
- National Academy of Fine art - Computer graphics - Part-time faculty teacher
- University of Architecture, Civil Engineering, and Geodesy - Part-time faculty teacher - Faculty of Architecture - Department "Drawing and modeling"
Featured Artist Q&A
1. What’s unique about your work?
Any style, method, idea, or elements your pieces have in common?
Styles, methods, and Ideas in my sculptures are different, but however what might be common is a dialog that I am interested in and it's about the relation between the human as Logos(rationality) and the Nature as a Chaos(irrationality). The moment of intersection between these two principles is where I can find more common ideas in my works
2. What do you want people to do or feel when seeing or using your piece for the first time?
I wish that from the first glans, people in front of my works can remember something they had imagined or experienced in their childhood.
3. What is your favorite (or least favorite) material to work with and why?
Maybe it is the mass of stone, a block of stone, with some natural shapes and patterns. When I see this "ready-made" natural object I start to imagine it's inside and it is a very exciting and intimate process. Therefore, the stone will be most natural for me, but however, I enjoy the other material also because of their specific visual and physical properties.
4. What motivates or inspires you?
This can be a quote, mantra, insight, idea, etc...
Everything that is natural and unnatural and the moment of contact between these phenomena, as I have noted above.
5. What makes a space special?
Space can be anywhere your work exists— especially authentic settings where people experience your creations.
Space exists when there is someone to comprehend and confirm its existence. Therefore, the people are the ones that create and verify their existence and the existence of the space.
6. How do your pieces come to life?
Tell us one interesting thing about your creative process?
It is somewhere between the meanings of the Latin terms "Homo Faber" (a man who makes) and "Homo Ludens" (a man who plays ). It is all about working with my imagination.
Bonus: What funny moments, unexpected surprises, or obstacles have you encountered?
I am projecting my sculpture as a complex spacecraft and I am looking to find in the process the mistakes, that can make everything seems as child game at the end.