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Ivo Stamenov

Ivo Stamenov is a wood sculptor who exhibits in Europe and has consistently been featured in solo exhibitions in the last few years in venues such as Papillon Gallery. Ivo incorporates his woodworking skills to make sculptures, fine art wooden lamps, jewelry chests, wooden toys, and wood-based appliances. He often employs the use of electrical lights throughout his works and sometimes includes portions of sculpted steel.

The sculptures are studies in light and form. Ivo often uses dramatic and theatrical lighting effects to photograph his works in order to accentuate the smoothness of the wooden surface and negative space. The incorporation of electrical light within the wooden sculptures and lamps often give off a jack-o-lantern-like or halloween appearance. The wood he uses appears to either be petrified or kiln-dried, emphasizing longevity and care of his materials, as well as deeply refined qualities of a middle-tone refined finished surface. 

Inspiration (top of article) remains one of Ivo’s most minimalistic pieces. Coming off like a three-dimensional version of a silkscreen print, Inspiration contains clever use of negative space. There remains empty volume within two frames of the sculpted head, giving off a spectrum of shadow and surface when being affected by light. We can admire the pure simplicity of the piece, containing no fluff, direct, to the point. The subject remains clear cut in an aesthetically pleasing design containing inner negative space to reflect perhaps the inner workings of the mind. The noble bust remains mounted on a wooden pedestal, such a noble and elegant piece communicates the sophistication in precise contours and minimalistic outlining of form. 

Tensegrity (pictured above) applies the principles of physical structures being held in place by the balance of tensile and compression forces acting upon them. The wooden sculpture remains intensely symmetrical and unlike his other works makes heavy use of the incorporation of steel. The abstracted steel molds upon the surface with snake-like form in opposing directions assisting in holding up the base of the pillars on the top and bottom. The top base pillar remains cylindrical while the bottom one conveys a sensual organic essence. Communicating a philosophy of structure, Tensegrity as a sculpture comes off as decorative yet stylish, with a minimalistic exterior and intricate interior. 

What we may gather from these works could be how to interpret negative space with three-dimensional surfaces. Woodworking remains an old and seemingly scarce trade, seldom do we see a medium associated often with crafts be applied to fine art with the incorporation of theatrics. Speaking of theatrics, some of the pieces on Ivo’s Saatchi Art profile may come as a scene from a puppet show or theatrical performance with child and toy-like applications of form within frames of wood. Ivo Stamenov comes off as a polished sculptor who brings refinement, elegance, and a high standard of craftsmanship to relief impressions. Sometimes coming off like a silkscreen print, a puppet show, or a zen garden, these sculptures help shape the purpose of three-dimensional contemporary image making beyond the limitations of just abstraction or representation. The clever incorporation of steel, negative space, and theatrical lighting leaves us with sculptures which have deeper purpose.

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