AUBG Exhibits “The Steps of Torah”
On Wednesday, Oct. 12, the steel and grey Soviet hallway of AUBG’s main building, with its cold marble floor and walls, was transformed into a vivid art gallery, where Mono Petra, a Bulgarian artist, exhibited his “Pierced Stones/The Steps of Torah.” The exhibition will be displayed until Nov. 12, and it might be a perfect way for you to escape from the hustle and bustle of campus life.
Petra debuted as an artist in Paris. His first works were shown in a room that would normally be used to keep the corpses for the night before burial ceremonies. Later, he moved from one warehouse to another, before he could finally exhibit his paintings in the galleries all around Europe. Petra currently resides and works in Bulgaria where he was born.
Artists, in a way, are the modern-day shamans, who have the power to hypnotize people with their own vision of the world, history, and myths. “The Steps of Torah” are Petra’s own interpretation of some of the Biblical events. He tells scriptural stories through one symbol — the footprint. “The footprint, the step is an element that I’ve been working on for the past four-five years, and I have noticed that nobody has ever developed it in paintings,” Petra admitted, elaborating on the key symbol present in all of his canvases.
Mono Petra mainly uses darker tones in his works. However, there is something gratifying in the emotions that they evoke. “I am trying to compensate for the color usage with the forms of the design which is playful and sunny,” the artist shared. Petra indeed found the way to portray serious Biblical episodes à la Noah’s Ark and The Prophet Moses in a “sunny” way. There is something intriguing about the part of the exposition that depicts Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt. “The paintings, portraying Joseph from the Book of Genesis and Moses from Book of Exodus, are placed in a counter-alphabetical order as a reference to the Hebrew alphabet,” the artist indicated.
A lot of artists find their inspirations in the Biblical motives; however, it appears to be a hard task to touch upon religious tales. “They have all been suffered!” Petra explained, looking around at the canvases.
“I have tried my best to create the paintings that would not strictly depict the Bible itself but the emotions and feelings the Biblical stories provoke!” he said.
“Pierced Stones/The Steps of Torah” is a wondrous allegory written in brush. The apostolic, prophetic motives of which, together with the marble walls and their Communist past and liberal present, form an oxymoronic sense of reality that one can find spiritually enriching.