Lyube Petrov

b. 1984, Bulgarian


Lyube Petrov, born in 1984 in Burgas, Bulgary, is a contemporary painter living and working in Prague, Czech Republic. Expressive painting representation, clear intensity and energetic paste-like spreads of color or distinctive plasticity are the characteristic features of Lyube Petrov’s painting technique.

A wide scale of means of expression foreshadows the semantic diversity of fantastic stories, hidden in grotesque pieces that are filled with sarcasm, comical aesthetics, hyperboles and humor but also deeper thoughts about the relationship between people and nature, leading us to apocalyptic endings.

In his creative development Bulgarian painter Lyube Petrov has come upon the topics that are tightly connected with the cycle of life and death. In his pieces he combines traditions, symbols and elements of Eastern and Western culture on the field of motives from the history of art comprising Christian iconography, mythological motives, but also abstract topics inspired by sci-fi literature and film.

Lyuben Petrov at Gallery Art S Salon / LP (c)

With his work he voices his ironic comment on the current state of civilization, which he calls the “Apocalypsarium”, i.e. the beginning of the end and through this he directly calls for the breaking points of human existence. That is why he makes such an enormous effort to capture the moment. With the author’s own words, the apocalypse is ever-present, never stopping and constantly moving and in the process it mutates.

The characters are caught up in somewhat of a trance, left alone in the world, sucked in by a natural catastrophe – apocalypse – whilst the story stays a mystery for the spectators. It could only be guessed and increases the excitement from an unfinished story. The stopping of the deciding moment is covered in a magical aura, however the content of the pieces has a deep mental foundation and gives evidence of philosophical maturity of the young author.

Because of the global connection between society, culture and tradition, the artist looks at the topics from two different angles. He combines the traditional features with links to phenomena of the current consumer society (comics or films for example) and with the help of this ironic mythology he creates a whole new reality or rather appreciates his cultural heritage. Playfully and entertainingly he connects the past with the present and with his artistic imagination he puts in front of us a vision of the future or perhaps a mysterious space of timelessness?

Installation view of Lyube Petrov’s work at Galerie Vankovka, Brno, Czech Republic / LP (c)

Lyube Petrov explores not only the inexhaustibility of the canvas but also the purpose of human existence through the bizarre characters, who demonstrate the power of thought of a being facing the apocalypse. The figures become the superheroes of our future.

Lyube Petrov majored in wall painting in 2007 in an art academy in Sofia. His studies concentrated mainly on mastering the technique and craft in the spirit of realism. Petrov still concentrates on the composition and a well thought formal structure in his traditional figural motives. After moving to the Czech Republic, he studied Fine Arts in Martin Maier’s studio and graduated in 2011.

The Bulgarian artist has exhibited across the globe, featuring in solo and group exhibitions mainly in Czech Republic, but also in Canada, Bulgaria, Georgia, Italy, Slovakia or the United Kingdom.

Lyuben Petrov at Gallery Art S Salon / LP (c)

As a result, Petrov achieved international recognition resulting in selections at renowned art prizes including the Bulgarian Contemporary Art Contest (2012) in Sofia, Bulgaria; the Art Prague Young Award (2013) in Prague, Czech Republic; the EDMIND Young Artis t Award (2013)in Sofia, Bulgaria; the BAZA Award for Contemporary Art (2014) in Sofia, Bulgaria; the Extraordinary Award during the 23rd International Biennial of Humour and Satire in Art (2017) in Gabrovo, Bulgaria and the ART PRIZE CBM (2017) in Turin, Italy.

Lyube Petrov features in renowned public and private collections such as the Museum of Sofia City Gallery, Bulgaria; the Private Collection Nikolai Nedelchev, Bulgaria; the Private Collection Lettenmayer, Collett Prague-Munich, Prague, Czech Republic; the Collection of Beneton Art-Imago Mundi, Italy and the Private Collection Paciorek, Czech Republic.


Lyube Petrov, Lovers, 2021. Oil on canvas – 160 x 140 cm. Courtesy the artist.
Lyube Petrov, Furure artefact, 2021. Oil on canvas – 140 x 120 cm. Courtesy the artist.
Lyube Petrov, Zietgeist, 2019. Oil on canvas – 150 x 135 cm. Courtesy the artist.
Lyube Petrov, Mephisto, 2020. Oil on canvas – 160 x 140 cm. Courtesy the artist.
Lyube Petrov, Pandora’s sister, 2020. Oil on canvas – 160 x 140 cm. Courtesy the artist.