„The stone does not tolerate crudity – it rewards thoughtfulness, gentle treatment and loving touch. If they are not present, it fights back and breaks.“ – Stefan Stefanov

Stefan Stefanov was born on December 31st 1961 in the Bulgarian city of Vratsa. He graduated from the Kharkiv State School of Art in Ukraine, which he attended between 1978 and 1982, and then went on to complete the course at the Department of Sculpture with the Kharkiv State Academy of Design and Arts (KSADA) with full honours (in the years 1985-1990). Between 1990 and 1992 he was a teacher of sculpture and composition at the Kharkiv State School of Art.

Back to Bulgaria, Stefanov became a member of the Union of Bulgarian Artists (UBA) in January 2001 and in March the same year he was elected chairperson of its regional representation at his home city of Vratsa. He served in this office until December 2012. His experience also includes teaching classes in Vratsa, the nearby town of Varshets and the village of Kunino.

From February 2004 until February 2018 he was the headmaster of the stonemasonry school in Kunino and was responsible for the school’s revival. With the support and guidance of Stefanov, the stonecraft pupils in the village successfully took part in various competitions, exhibitions and expos, collecting prizes on their way.

His main body of work includes portrait sculptures, figural compositions carved in stone or wood, cast in bronze, or made of other materials, as well as multiple graphic compositions. Stefanov is the founder of the Stone Sculpture Symposium, organising and participating in its first two editions – “Vratsa 2002” and “Vratsa 2003”. He also participated in the 2009 Sculpture Symposium in Horice (the Czech Republic) in which he was distinguished. He was also distinguished in the modern sculpture competition “The Time in Me” held in Sofia in 2008.

Stefanov has presented his art pieces at many exhibitions and art initiatives in Bulgaria, Russia, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, and Austria. He is the creator of multiple monuments in Sofia, Vratsa, Bobov Dol, Kozloduy, Cherven Bryag and other locations; monuments made by him can also be found in Ukraine.

Among his artworks is the statuette awarded with the 2013 John Atanasoff Award of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria. Again in 2013, he held an individual exhibition at the headquarters of Bulgaria’s biggest telecom, called M-Tel at the time.

Stefanov won the first prizes in the 2014 and 2015 competitions for “Unique Art Pieces”, part of the International Arts and Crafts Fair “Bulgarika”, held annually in the city of Varna. The sculptures awarded were “Saints Cyril and Methodius” in 2014 and “Botev” in 2015. In 2019 and 2020 he participated in the sculpture symposium “Pantheon of Bulgarian Revolutionaries” held in the Bulgarian village of Rayuvtsi.

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