Sun is the factor that defines the creative aspirations and inspirations of Mariana Toneva. Her style is new and distinctive and so far it has been put under the not yet existing definition of magical futurism. So, it plays with material and immaterial tools to sculpture a dimension which best defines her immanent outburst of joy. The fundament in her private statement she puts behind her work is described as a celebration of art as an attitude towards life filled with happiness and aspiration.

‘Yes, I do believe that everything is connected and that we should love each other, and yes, I do believe that art explains life in a much more deep and complicated manner than only as a social tool or a political statement. And above all, it is very important the attitude of making art – not only to serve with its core meanings (if they are such) but to celebrate life as a positive outcome of all that exists. That’s why I only make art when I am happy.’

Mariana Toneva (1965) was born and is currently living in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, doing art strictly for the last 15 years. Working across painting and handicrafts, she creates an enigmatic and instantly recognisable style that is strongly individual and can not be put into well-known categorisation. Embracing various materials and techniques, she is not trying to control or restrain her process of working but to emphasise the clarity of the message itself. So far she had solo exhibitions around the country and she participated in various group exhibitions in Bulgaria and abroad.

In 2009-2010, she co-founded artstudio Slanca (i. e. Suns) together with her friend and artist Nikola Minchev. The space ran for almost a year in the dark times of Kapana district in Plovdiv as a multi-disciplinary creative studio and a contemporary gallery that aimed to go beyond mainstream principles as an initiative towards change.

Right now the artist is enjoying the weather in Plovdiv fighting each and every day with surreal ideas, some of which appears to be very real. She’s doing that mostly in her sleep, although she’s also maintaining a self-defence routine, with a Sabre and everything, as an instructor at Plovdiv Fencing Club. (Text: Denitsa Toneva)


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