Mag. Silvia Guenova

In Sofia geboren · Schauspiel- und Regieausbildung · an vielen Bühnen tätig · 1986-1992 Aufenthalt in Berlin · Mal-Workshops und Gruppenausstellungen · 1992 Übersiedlung nach Österreich · Gründung von Viva Integratives Kindertheater · Mitglied der Berufsvereinigung der bildenden Künstler Österreichs

Austrian with Bulgarian roots. Painter with background theatre (mag. for acting and directing). Stay in Berlin, move to Vienna, foundation of viva integrative children’s theatre. 2007 Federal Honorary Mark of the BM for Teaching, Art and Culture. 2008 and 2022 Award Ministry of Culture of the Rep. of Bulgaria Regular training in painting; the technique has been clarified and tested in various painting courses. She seeks to deal with the topic of nature, the environment and landscapes. To this end, she combined structured veneer wood with found finds from nature (guts, leaves, stones) and created landscapes that retain their final vibrancy with acrylic paints. You could describe this way of working as a nature collage. In the meantime, she has expanded her work through portraits and representations from popular culture. She focuses in particular on women and their roles. Asian motivs on rice paper with watercolour Paints and ink have also recently found their way into her work.

Member of the Kunstverein Traun ART
Member of Cultural Networking NÖ

From theater to art to embrace the theme of environmental protection through recycling

Austrian with Bulgarian origins, eclectic, cheerful, sunny, dynamic both professionally and personally, Silvia Guenova, aka SilvaGe, has lived her entire life in the arts; she was an actress and theatre director and founded an integrative children’s theatre of which she was artistic director for twenty long years. She was awarded a Medal of Honour by the Federal Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture for her commitment to her work as a theatre director. In spite of her professional commitments, she has never neglected to exercise her art, through which she has always represented and narrated the themes that are dearest to her, those of nature, the environment and the landscape; This is precisely the leitmotif of her creative expression, the need to harmonise figuration with the natural elements that she includes in her works and that connect to the canvas, coming into contact with the surrounding space but, above all, demonstrating how each element destined to end its life cycle can continue to survive by becoming something else, transforming itself into an ornament and complement by virtue of which it generates a work of art. The theme of the environmental crisis is particularly relevant in a contemporary period in which we have become aware of how harmful human action has been to ecosystems and how the race for technological and industrial development has contributed to the extinction of animal species, flora and fauna, and the deforestation of the world’s green lungs. In her works, Guenova uses veneered wood on which she inserts elements collected from the outside such as trunks, leaves and stones, to give life to landscapes and images linked to the natural world of which they are composed; The style moves between Informal Materialism for the insertion and harmonisation in the canvas of solid and regenerated elements, thus preventing the extinction of the life cycle, Expressionism by virtue of the simplification of the images narrated and the absence of perspective or the search for aesthetic perfection, and finally a slight trace of Symbolism, especially when she chooses to go beyond the image to lead the observer towards a world of depth that stimulates reflection and the ability to go beyond the visible. In the work Baum (Tree), the trunk conceals the body of a woman, the one who is able to give life and give birth to leaves even from dry branches, a metaphor for nature that somehow tries to adapt and survive those modifications induced by human beings and which often cause more damage than good; what emerges from the work is the majesty of the tree, of its being able to cling to its roots to resist deprivations in its habitat that no natural circumstance would have produced. Thus the trunk becomes a symbol of resilience, of the will to continue living, to nourish the branches, despite everything. And again in Hoffnung (Hope) SilvaGe represents an ideal world in which nature can regain what has been lost by regenerating itself and recreating an environment in which it can manifest itself luxuriantly, an environment in balance between the world and those who inhabit it, that man who has done so much to progress, forgetting to take care of everything around him. The trunks seem to be futuristic trees that are warmed by a red solar disc, like the will to live, like the passion to rebuild and like the warmth needed to instil new life.

Vienna Secession reaches out to Surrealism in SilvaGe’s artworks

Very often the style of contemporary artists is part of the cultural heritage of the country from which they come from, testifying how the past is a guide and a basis for a present that cannot help but connect, even if re-actualized in the traces previously marked to create more open approaches to the contamination between different languages. The artist I am telling you about today is inextricably linked to one of the most incisive currents of the early twentieth century of her native country, let’s go and find out how.

Between the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, the whole Europe was invested by an artistic movement that celebrated esthetical sens, good living and beauty, but above all the importance of artisan creativity on mechanization and serial reproduction that was becoming established in that period. That current took different names from country to country: in France it was called Art Nouveau, in Spain Modernism, in Germany Jugendstil and in Austria it manifested itself under the name of Vienna Secession. The need to recover delicate and soft forms, almost sinuous, spread not only in painting and sculpture, but also in architecture, furniture, jewelry, lighting, especially in Austria the Secession movement theorized and hoped for a total art, in which all creative manifestations interacted and merged, thus excluding the sectorialization of expressive forms. The greatest representative of Vienna Secession was Gustav Klimt who, with his delicate and finely detailed figures, using a classical yet incredibly modern pictorial touch in the final result, had the ability to transport the observer into a oneiric, dreamy world, full of colour and light, as evidenced by his golden age that consecrated him to immortality. The attention to detail meticulously described and the vivid colours applied in a clear way, almost without nuance, characterize the artistic production of the Bulgarian Silvia Guenova, SilvaGe in art, and Austrian naturalized, graduate in theatre direction but with a passion always cultivated for painting, which is inextricably linked to the Vienna Secession style, enriched by the contamination with Surrealism, the most classical one, the one most akin to the contemporary inclination to observe the outside world and meditate on its relative truths.

Her most aesthetic side is the one that is revealed in artworks such as Blumen (Flowers) that decorate the stockings and skirt of the protagonist of the painting, whose face is not seen but the observer’s attention is directed by SilvaGe only on a flirtatious detail, as if to emphasize that in existence there is also a need for lightness, carefreeness and attention to aesthetics sometimes as an end in itself, without having to ask too many questions.

The same theme is taken up again in Tanz (Dance) in which the artist recounts a moment of fun, of popular celebration, a playful juncture within which escaping, not thinking about anything but the present, linking to the simplicity and immediacy of the way of life of the past perhaps less full of existential complications than in the contemporary era.

Complications and questions that SilvaGe’s sensibility cannot ignore, however, and which she openly manifests in other works in which Surrealism becomes a strongly present element, dominating almost, though never excluding the aesthetic taste of Secession that pervades her artistic production.

In the artwork Augen (Eyes) the synergy between the two styles between which the artist moves emerges in an incisive way giving life to an unreal atmosphere in which two entities are protagonists, apparently two bodies but in reality two souls, who meet and bond in the uncertainty of the future, in the insecurity and in the doubt of being able to really trust each other, here therefore appear the eyes of distrust, of control, of the need to look over one another in order not to be hurt. And yet the soft colour of the background, a water green whose uniformity is interrupted only by decorative elements barely hinted at in Art Nouveau style, seems to want to reassure the protagonists of the canvas, placing them in a time not time that constitutes a refuge.

And again in Mensch (Human) SilvaGe asks herself about the thousand shades, about the facets that we assume in front of different circumstances of life but that in reality belong to a single, complex personality through which we show ourselves to the world, sometimes with one face, sometimes with another, confirming Pirandello‘s thought on masks, on that one nobody and one hundred thousand that we can be on the basis of the events and the interlocutors we are in front of, until we forget who we really are.

The work Schnecke (Snail) tells instead of a contemporaneity in which slowness is forgotten, too much of a hurry is the rhythm of an existence that runs in pursuit of objectives, of economic well-being, of material ends to reach which one cannot afford to stop, to slow down to observe oneself inside in a more conscious and deep way; therefore the canvas wants to be a praise of a slowed down rhythm by virtue of which one can recover values, emotions, sensations that otherwise run away getting lost in the race of life. During her career SilvaGe has participated in numerous important group exhibitions in Vienna and throughout Austria.

Österreicherin mit bulgarischen Wurzeln. Malerin mit Hintergrund Theater (Mag. für Schauspiel und Regie). Aufenthalt in Berlin, Umzug nach Wien, Gründung von viva integratives Kindertheater. 2007 Bundesehren-zeichen des BM für Unterricht, Kunst u. Kultur. 2008 und 2022 Ehrenzeichen des Kulturministeriums der Republik Bulgarien. Regelmäßige Fortbildung in Malerei; die Technik wurde in diversen Malkursen präzisiert u. erprobt. SilvaG suchte ursprünglich die Auseinandersetzung mit den Themen Natur, Umwelt und Landschaft. Dazu kombinierte sie strukturiertes Furnierholz mit Fundstücken aus der Natur (Rinden, Blätter, Steine) und schaffte daraus Landschaften. Weiters wird das Meer mit seinem Sand, den Muscheln und Schnecken und dem angeschwemmten Holz in Bildern und Projekten künstlerisch verarbeitet.
Diese Konzeption könnte auch als Naturkollage bezeichnet werden und erinnert an Arbeiten von Braque.( Er fügte naturalistisch gemalte Holzmaserungen in seine Bilder und erweiterte später durch Einbindung von Holzimitatpapier.) Das zukunftsweisende an den Arbeiten von SilvaGe ist ihr Blick auf die Natur und die sie bedrohende Umweltkrise.
Bewusst werden Naturmaterialien in eine Welt der Farben und Formen integriert. Dabei ist Bildklang wichtiger als gegenständliche Fixierung. Es ist sowohl eine abstrakte als auch eine konkrete Deutung möglich In vielen Bildern zeigt sich ein Einfluss des Wiener Jugendstils. Das Ornament spielt eine wichtige Rolle, das Fehlen einer dreidimensionalen Modellierung, die Verwendung von Geometrie und Linie. Dieser Interpretation bedient sie sich auch in ihren Bildern, die Themen der Volkskultur aufnehmen. Hundertwasser und der Wiener Jugendstil schimmern durch. Der Stil bewegt sich zwischen informellen Materialismus (Einfügung und Harmonisierung fester und regenerierter Elemente in die Leinwand wodurch das Aussterben des Lebenszyklus verhindert wird), Expressionismus (aufgrund der Vereinfachung der erzielten Bilder und der Abwesenheit von Perspektive oder der Suche nach ästhetischer Perfektion) und schließlich einer leichten Spur von Symbolismus (vor allem wenn sie sich dafür entscheidet über das Bild hinauszugehen um den Betrachter in eine Welt der Tiefe zu führen die zum Nachdenken anregt und über das sichtbare hinausgeht).
Auch offene, kreative Projekte (Martenizabaum, 2023 am Fritz Grünbaum Platz, Weihnachtsmärkte usw.) gehören zur Ausdrucksweise der Künstlerin.
Inhaltlich haben in den letzten Jahren Frauenthemen eine besondere Bedeutung erlangt, sowohl in den Bildern als auch in den Ausstellungen, die von ihr organisiert werden.

Mitglied der Berufsvereinigung der bildenden Künstler Österreichs
Mitglied im Kunstverein Traun ART
Mitglied Kulturvernetzung NÖ

2023 02 Marteniza Projekt, Wien 6 Mariahilf
2023 01 Spuren, Bulgarisches Kulturinstitut Haus Wittgenstein
2022 11 Unsere Farben, Bulgarisches Kulturinstitut Haus Wittgenstein
2022 10 Mensch ist Kunst, Otto Mauer Zentrum, Vienna
2022 09 Best of street / Art Kunst am Zaun Vienna 1010
2022 09 Different Spaces, City Gallery Plovdiv, Bulgarien
2022 06 Ausstellung Chinesisches Kulturinstitut 1060
2022 05 Einzelausstellung Galerie am Park / Vienna 1060
2022 04 Ausstellungsbeteiligung Galerie Eisenwaren Kamp / Vienna 1060
2022 04 Art Rome, La Pigna Gallery, Rom
2022 04 Ausstellungsbeteiligung Rocca Roveresca Senigallia, Andorra
2022 04 Mexikanische Kulturinstitut, Vienna 1090
2022 04 Muestra Internacional, Pirlapolis Uruguay
2022 03 In tern. Frauenausstellung, Haus Wittgenstein, Vienna 1030
2022 01 Ausstellungsbeteiligung Bezirksvorstehung Vienna 1050
2022 01 Muestra Internacional de Fin De Ano, Palermo Argentina
2021 08 Anima Senza Voce Milano – Cervia - Cattolica
2021 07 Gemeinschaftsausstellung Kitzbühel
2021 07 Art Bratislava Contamporary Art Exposition Bratislava Castle
2021 05 International Virtual Exhibition of Artistic Marokko
2021 04 Auserwählte Kunst Gemeinschaftsausstellung Artfactory Galerie Graz
2021 03 ega – Haus. Frauen. Krisenmeisterinnen. Seit immer.
2021 03 Galerie am Park / Vienna 1060
2021 02 Haus Wittgenstein / Vienna 1030
2020 10 Ausstellung Salon GOLDEN GARTEN VIRTUEL-Gallery Adriana
2020 09 Ausstellungsbeteiligung Kunst Venedig 2020, Scuola Grande san Teodoro
2020 09 Anime Senza Voce – Mostra Intern. 2020 Cervia, Ravenna, Bertimoro
2020 07 Ausstellungsbeteiligung Kitzbühler Kunstsommer / Tirol
2020 06 Ausstellungsbeteiligung Kulturzentrum Spittelberg / Wien 6
2020 04 Ausstellungsbeteiligung Galerie Eisenwaren Kamp / Wien 6
2020 02 Haus Wittgenstein / Vienna 1030
2019 12 Art Gallery Vienna 1050
2019 07 artfactory Graz, (01.07. – 31.08.)
2019 07 Gemeinschaftsausstellung Kitzbühler Kunstsommer
2019 06 Galerie Sandpeck, Vienna 1080
2019 06 Kunsthaus Weiz – Galerie, Steiermark (25.05. – 02.06.)
2019 04 Galerie am Park Vienna 1060 (01.04. – 08.04.)
2019 03 TraunART, Kunst im ZBP Haid (19.03. – 19.04.)
2018 10 Alte Schiebekammer, 1150 Wien (23.10 – 29.10.)
2018 05 Rathaus Mödling (07.05. – 15.05.)