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A letter

A letter as a preface...

Dear Artist,

Welcome to the website of FiKVA Foundation! I’m happy you are here and would love to share a few words with you…

My name is Tanya Atanasova, I’m the founder of FiKVA … but first and foremost, I am an artist myself. I have studied both applied and fine arts in Bulgaria and in Belgium. I work with oil paints and have focused on large sized, non-traditional portraits. I work from my atelier in Antwerp (Belgium) and as an active artist, I experience everything a mid-career artist does … But what does this have to do with FiKVA, you may ask?
Let me tell you a short story…

Every time I open a solo show, my visitors repeatedly ask me the same question, over and over again: We love that kind of art Tanya, why don’t we see more of it?

Well, the answer to this is very simple – our galleries and museums in Europe don’t accept much of that kind of art. In fact, we only have two museums specialized in modern representational arts at a world-class level – one is in London and one in Barcelona…. Opportunities for realist artists don’t come on their path that often. Since the places to exhibit representational and figurative art are so few, there is serious competition. Many talented artists find themselves in a very vulnerable position, others remain unrepresented. So, what do you do if you were born a representational artist?

I believe if you were born with the right set of creative genes, fine-tuned for producing realistic art, you won’t be doing abstract or conceptual art – as simple as that… Genes run like a computer program, they always find a way to express themselves. There will always be representational artists, we just need more places, where we can appreciate their art and celebrate their talent.

I have been thinking for years that we, the society of realist artists, urgently need a new Home for representational arts in Nord-West Europe. One that celebrates inclusion and diversity, that appreciates art of women, people with disabilities, people of colour, LGBTQ+ community, students or late beginners and unites all realistic genres under one roof… but being busy in my own studio, hitting deadlines, I had no time to realize this dream.

Then came the Covid-19 crisis. In the beginning of 2020, as I was preparing seven large shows for the year, I suddenly realised, now was the moment to drop everything else and start working on my dream of creating an organisation for other realist artists. If there is one thing Covid was good for – it reprogrammed my agenda and thoughts and created an unique moment in time, helping me to visualize the structure of the FiKVA Foundation to be.

I started daily video chats with artists in isolation, I talked to gallery owners worldwide, I met many friends who love and collect art, when it was again possible I went to Barcelona to talk to the director of the MEAM Museum about my concept and learn from his experience. And the big dream suddenly started to take solid shape. On April 20, 2021, together with a few friends we officially registered the FiKVA Foundation.

For our first year we opted for our activities to stay online exclusively, but from 2023 on, we hope to have normal live activities – workshops, exhibitions, AIR-programs, and gatherings at our safe spaces!

So, please, check out the website, read through everything you need to know about us, and start planting the seed … perhaps, we can meet in Belgium or in France next summer, because we will be working on our mission, creating more opportunities for the FiKVA-community!

love,
Tanya Atanasova

FiKVA - Figuratieve Kunst Vandaag
Ommeganckstraat 9
2018 Antwerp
Belgium