Art News: Kiril Jeliazkov Portraits Jake Paul, Post Malone Only Part of the Story
Kiril Jeliazkov is an international artist that deserves the attention of the Art community.
Kiril manages to turn fun colours and fast brush strokes in to deeply emotional works capable of capturing a moment and transporting you there, his ability to express those emotions is boundless, from the raw eroticism of the nudes to the thrill of victory in the Jake Paul portrait to quieter more nuanced moments like the portrait of Post Malone with thoughtful, reflective expression.
The Orange Step Series
“The Orange Step,” a series of 128 large-scale abstract canvases, each of them 22 feet high by 11 feet wide. These massive paintings are symbolically signed with the artist’s footprint in vivid orange. It is the largest series of paintings ever designed to be displayed outdoors. “I created the Orange Step with the idea that art is for everyone,” Kiril said. “Therefore the ideal gallery for it is Mother Nature.” This sweeping project first went on exhibit in Kiril’s native Bulgaria in a national park in his hometown of Yambol. The city of Savannah, Georgia was the second location to welcome The Orange Step—to its iconic Forsyth Park. It was another fitting homecoming, since Kiril earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s of Fine Art in painting at the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2007.
Next stop, Palm Beach, Florida, where the huge paintings lined the fairways of the PGA Honda Classic golf tournament. The large format art experience then traveled to the West Coast and went on display in Tiburon, California, on the banks of the Bay across from San Francisco. More recently, the people of Washington, DC enjoyed The Orange Step as it stretched from Georgetown through the global political center of the nation’s capital known as Embassy row and just past the Vice President’s residence.
One of Kiril’s most noted achievements as an artist was having his work chosen to represent his home country at the United Nations. Bulgaria is known for its art, so much so that a fellow Bulgarian artist who also looks outdoors for inspiration is known internationally by just his first name: Christo. “That’s why I was particularly honored to be selected for this international exhibition,” Kiril said. “It was inspiring to be surrounded by other artists, all learning from and sharing with each other.” The U.N. exhibit featured 50 different artists from 50 different countries.
Kiril Jeliazkov was born in Yambol, Bulgaria in 1977. He graduated from the Fine Art High School in Kazanlak in 1996, then earned a spot at Bulgaria’s rigorous Fine Art Academy in the capital city of Sofia. There, students were expected to complete 200 sketches a day to make capturing the world around them second nature. It worked! In 1999, Kiril was accepted with a full Presidential Scholarship to the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia. There, he not only thrived in his artistic training, but did so in English, his second language.
Kiril loved his new life in the United States, but yearned to explore the world in search of inspiration for his art. Starting in 2001, he traveled to multiple different regions to explore other cultures and lifestyles. Kiril spent two months in Africa, where he worked on canvases depicting the colors and mystique of Kenya. European trips to Turkey, Italy and Spain followed. Kiril capped his world travels with a journey to the southern hemisphere, particularly Brazil. He returned to the USA with a rich collection of his work, and began to focus on showings, exhibits and gallery opportunities in order to share his paintings with the world.
People responded! Collectors from all around the world (USA, Europe, Asia) own Kiril’s paintings. He is a versatile artist, equally at home creating expressive abstract pieces and vibrant realistic paintings. Isolated from others during the Covid-19 pandemic, Kiril compensated by experimenting with paintings of human figures. Consequently, he is now a sought-after portrait artist who has painted clients ranging from rap stars to royals. Kiril also believes in giving back and frequently donates his work at-cost to charitable organizations, which then sell it to raise money for good causes. A recent charity auction at Washington National Cathedral saw spirited bidding for a Kiril Jeliazkov original.
Today Kiril makes his home in the Washington, DC area with his wife and two young daughters, but travels globally to meet the international demand for his art. Kiril’s next project is still confidential. It will be even bigger than the Orange Step and will raise a tremendous amount of money for charity—thus merging two of Kiril’s passions. Stay tuned!