Working almost exclusively with graphite on paper, Denitsa Todorova creates an abstract world of soft strokes in shades of black and grey. With a unique approach to her medium, she offers the viewer a veil, a passage to myriad possible meanings and dialogues, bound to trigger one’s imagination.
The artist has discovered for herself an inverted technique: first, she completely covers her paper in graphite powder. Then, she carefully starts erasing this black surface, so that a meticulously crafted image appears. ‘The results of my work might seem abstract and filled with coincidences, but for me they are really structured. I have a clear vision in my mind of what the image will look like, and I have to be very careful not to erase too much or too little. It’s a very time-consuming practice.’ There is space for a playful element in the shape of the paper, which is determined in advance, but is not necessarily cut off straight. This gives the final work a strongly individual, structural character.
The spiral has been a prominent character in Denitsa’s work, as it is, for her, a symbol of many things: ‘It’s really a key to what I have to say. It’s a symbol of eternity, it repeats itself endlessly. Still now, most of my works feature a spiral.’ Recently, however, her attention has shifted from a geometric universe to natural environments: ‘My greatest source remains the light.’
Whereas the spiral would reflect a kind of metaphysical light, maybe from another galaxy, the current works are closer to nature: they evoke the way light can touch and dance on water, or the manner in which it playfully drops through leaves in a forest. Light can also be considered a metaphor for Denitsa’s method: she gradually erases small parts of a completely blackened surface, thus letting the light in through cracks in the darkness.