An exhibition of sculptures by Italian artist Stefano Benazzo, as well as two Bulgarian artists, Valentin Angelov and Petko Arnaudov, starts on December 14 at Sofia's Rakursi gallery and runs until January 3.
Benazzo, also the Italian ambassador to Bulgaria, is displaying his work for the first time but, as he makes clear, the exhibition is entirely unconnected to his diplomatic career. He says he deliberately refrained from showing his works earlier during his posting to Bulgaria – he has been here three-and-a-half years – which is now drawing to an end. He says that the exhibition came about by chance after meeting his two Bulgaria co-exhibitors.
"I've been doing models of boats, cars and trains since I was 12 years old," Benazzo told The Sofia Echo. "One day, my wife said 'stop copying the others' and do something on your own. One of the first things my teacher told me was never to tackle something you cannot move alone." It is a rule he has scrupulously obeyed ever since.
Benazzo started studying while he was in Washington, working with an American sculptor. He began to create sculptures in the basement of his house in Georgetown, Washington, during his appointment there and continued in Italy.
He will be showing 12 to 14 pieces at the exhibition and some will be on sale. Previously, he has had a photographic exhibition but this is the first showing of the sculptures themselves.
Valentin Angelov, one of the other artists whose works will be on display at the Rakursi gallery, was born in 1961 in Sofia and graduated from the National Academy for Fine Arts. He has participated in more than 20 exhibitions in Bulgaria, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary and Russia.
The third exhibitor, Bulgarian artist, Petko Arnaudov was born in 1960 and graduated in sculpture from Sofia's National Academy for Fine Arts. His work has been shown in more than 20 exhibitions. More recently, he has been working in the field of interior design.