Bulgaria in the European Puzzle - works from the Museum's collection
/December 10, 2021 - April 24, 2022, Room 5/

The exhibition presents a selected collection of 28 cartoons by 13 established Bulgarian artists who have participated in several themed national competitions organized by the Museum of Humor and Satire, namely: Europe Dreams of Bulgaria (1998), What, Switzerland? (2004) and Eurosapiens (2009). Although created more than a decade ago, the works and the issues raised in them, such as corruption, damage to consumer interests, unreformed judiciary and inefficient administration, lack of tolerance and division in society, sound absolutely relevant and topical today.

Cartoons without Borders - works from the Museum's collection
/December 10, 2021 - April 24, 2022, Room 5/

This exhibition places the accent on the international character of the Gabrovo Biennale of Humor and Satire in Art and looks back on some of the best achievements in the Cartoon section, selected to be shown in the exhibition of various editions of the Biennale for nearly 20 years. Among them are the winners of the last four editions of the Biennale. The exhibition includes a total of 40 cartoons by 38 artists from all over the world.

Some Like It Analog - exhibition by Dobrin Atanasov and Lyuben Kuleliev)
Installations, objects
(September 30 - December 31, 2021, Room 7)

The exhibition features kinetic and interactive installations and objects incorporating images and references related to the symbols of the digital world we live in today. However, the works do not rely on digital technologies to function. The starting point for the creation of the works is Billy Wilder's timeless movie Some Like It Hot (1959). The titles of the works quote lines from the film and refer to scenes and situations in it. At the same time, they provide a key to the interpretation of the works themselves. The exhibition draws attention to the consequences of the Great Digital Turn in recent years and puts a different perspective on the subject through the prism of humor and irony. The characters in the movie Some Like It Hot are two men who have to merge with the unfamiliar world of women. In this case, their lives depend on it. The exhibition Some Like It Analog seeks analogies with this situation and refers to the analog-minded person who has to survive in the new digital world. .

The ubiquity of digital technology left the older generations at an extreme disadvantage. The rapidly changing situation dictated by the galloping technological development rendered many of them uncompetitive. However, in order not to "drop out of the game", most of those affected seemingly accepted the challenge and began to use the tools of the new era, without comprehending their essential characteristics. This led to a simulated digitality. The global pandemic that began in 2020 further widened the gap. Forced labor from a distance or in a digital environment increased the pressure on "analog" generations. The result was the exclusion of many people from current processes, but also a multiple increase in simulated digitality. The consequence in many respects is comical, but it has its serious negative dimensions too.

The authors Dobrin Atanasov and Lyuben Kuleliev have been working as an artistic tandem for 20 years now. Together and independently they have shown works in Germany, Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Estonia, Romania and Serbia. Both are lecturers in the Department of Visual Arts at the Faculty of Educational Studies and the Arts at Sofia University. In 2003 they founded the non-governmental organization Center for Informal Education and Cultural Activities ALOS. On its behalf they conduct workshops and trainings in various fields of contemporary art. In recent years, as part of these events, they have made dozens of public appearances throughout the country. They are members of the Art in Action Association, the oldest independent artistic organization in Bulgaria.

MEMORIAL. Classical Project in Contemporary Art - solo exhibition by Andrey Vrabchev
(September 11 - December 31, 2021, Room 6)

The installation Memorial - Classical Project in Contemporary Art consists of a headless figure draped in a Roman toga, along with a set of interchangeable heads portraying a selection of contemporary politicians: Theresa May, Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and Boyko Borisov. Each one of them could be placed on the torso. The contradiction between timeless and temporary is further emphasized by the cheap materials and castings, not by the stone sculptures.

The work is inspired by the ancient Roman practice of placing headless statues of the Emperor, which allowed for a quick and easy replacement of the heads. At that time, statues were not only used to glorify but also to inform the citizens of who was in power, as an Emperor's rule was often short-lived.

The installation places at center stage the body of power or power itself which, essentially, is more important than the person currently in power. This can also be related to the medieval concept of the two bodies of the king: one eternal (the statue), and one physical (the portrait). Within the museum setting, the installation transcends the present - as if time has passed and the sculptural portraits of these presently known personalities have become unrecognizeable, an archaelogical artefact.

Portraits, Self-portraits and Caricatures - works from the Museum's art collection
Paintings, sculpture, caricatures
(February 13 - August 31, 2021, Stefan Fartunov Room)

The exhibition features a selected collection of images of favorite writers, actors, artists, and last but not least - Gabrovo wise-crackers, which the Bulgarian public associates with humor and satire, in works by Yuri Bukov, Stoyan Venev, Vladimir Dimitrov-The Master, Boris Dimovski, Donyo Donev, Lyuben Zidarov, Yanko Pavlov, Milka Peykova, Vezhdi Rashidov, Todor Tsonev, Georgi Chapkanov and others. The collection includes 95 works (43 paintings, 26 sculptures and reliefs and 26 caricatures), created from the middle of the last century to the present day. They belong to the art collection of the Museum of Humor and Satire, amassed purposefully and diligently for 49 years now.

In times of isolation and distance, the visitor finds himself in the colorful company of Chudomir, Aleko Konstantinov, Radoy Ralin, Todor Kolev, Stoyanka Mutafova, Velko Kanev and Tatiana Lolova, arranged at a distance of a meter and a half from each other, in accordance with the current anti-epidemic measures. Even the mention of their names inevitably evokes smiles and a cheerful mood. This is the main objective of the organizers of the exhibition Portraits, Self-portraits and Cartoons, i.e. to provoke positive emotions and to remind that the art collection of the Museum is a small treasure trove of contemporary art.

Cartoon Salon 2020
/October 23, 2020 - January 31, 2021, Room 5/

7: 0 for the Cartoon - solo exhibition of Lyubomir Mihaylov

The exhibition features 51 cartoons and celebrates the artist’s 70th anniversary. The partnership of the Museum of Humor and Satire with Lyubomir Mihailov is of many years; the result - 33 original works treasured in the museum art collection.

Born on September 26, 1950 in Kavarna, Lyubomir Mihaylov has graduated in civil engineering in Sofia and self-made himself as an artist. He has interests mainly in the field of cartoon, illustration, book layout, poster art and graphic design.
He has worked as an artist in the Tehnika publishing house, Sofia; on the editorial-boards of A Propos almanac, Gabrovo and Starshel newspaper; he was designer and artist of the magazine FEP (Fiction, Heuristics, Prognostics); chief artist of the children's magazine Dino and Dina and PC magazine (Post Scriptum). He is the author of numerous film posters for the former Cinema Distribution Enterprise, Boyana and hundreds of covers and illustrations for almost all publishers before 1989. For several years he was a regular contributor to the magazines Nebelspalter, Eulenspigel and Index on Censorship. Today he does children's illustrations and designs textbooks for the publishing houses Prosveta, Bulvest - 2000, Anubis, Ariadna, Abagar and others.
Lyubomir Mihaylov has participated in exhibitions of cartoons, illustrations, posters and graphics in Bulgaria and abroad. He has received many awards, some of which he deems very prestigious.
He has shown solo cartoon exhibitions in Sofia, Varna, Gabrovo, Balchik and at the International Congress Center in Davos, Switzerland.
He has been a member of the Union of Bulgarian Artists since 1982; in the period 2005-2015 he chaired the Cartoon section at the UBA.

30 + 30 - solo exhibition of Svetlin Stefanov

The title of the exhibition suggests that this artist is also celebrating an anniversary this year. He turns 60, so he presents 30 cartoons and 30 pieces of small sculpture at the 2020 Cartoon Salon. The museum art collection holds 12 works by Svetlin Stefanov.
Born in 1960 in Tryavna, Svetlin Stefanov has graduated in woodcarving in his hometown, and has later majored in Fine Arts at the Teachers' Institute in Dupnitsa.
He has been drawing cartoons since 1986 and has had over 800 publications in 52 periodicals in Bulgaria, including Starshel, Anteni, Standart, Spektar, Smyah and others. He has participated in a number of international cartoon competitions in Canada, Brazil, Italy, Germany, Iran, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria. Since 1989 he has been a regular participant in the Gabrovo International Biennial.
Svetlin Stefanov won a prize from the cartoon competition in Marostica, Italy; first prize for cartoon at the festival Fun-Loving Balkans, Gabrovo; second prize and silver plaque from Kragujevac, Serbia; third prize from the 27th National Cartoon Exhibition of Union of Bulgarian Artists; the award of the Ombudsman of the Republic of Bulgaria at the 42nd edition of the National Cartoon Exhibition and others.
He has shown solo exhibitions in Serbia, Romania, twice at the House of Humor and Satire, and five times in his hometown.
He has been a member of the UBA, Cartoon section, since 2000. He has his own studio for woodcarving and satirical sculpture in Tryavna, where he has been working for 30 years now.

24. Biennial of Humour and Satire in Art, Gabrovo 2019
Garden Town - exhibition for children
/May 18 - September 30 2019, Room 4/

The exhibition is specially designed for children within the framework of the 24. Biennial of Humour and Satire in Art. Its author is artist Nevena Ekimova who has developed the Biennial theme Dimensions of Publicness inviting children to learn how to explore, actively engage with, transform and discuss the issues on the Garden Town together.

In Garden Town the children are free to show their imagination, resourcefulness and care about the environment making the streets of the town beautiful, saving homeless kittens, making seed bombs, learning how to make decisions in a group. In fact, every town is possible to turn into a garden, but it is only in Garden Town where mischief has a happy end.