“Trud” Newspaper

The most read newspaper in Bulgaria published an article on my art and life as an artist

The original article (in Bulgarian) can read here
To read a rough translation (in English) click here

A Bulgarian woman sold a painting for € 10,000 to Obama’s right hand man
Lyubena Fox is in opposition to the consumer world

*Lyubena’s drawing style is revival of realism
*She graduated from the Academy of Florence and studied with Maestro Roberto Ferri
*Svetlin Rusev gives a blessing to the 24-year-old artist to continue painting
*Lyubena paints two copies/reproductions of a portrait of St. Seraphim and the Russian Church in Sofia are delighted

To confront the hectic and consumer lifestyle with making paintings. With works that express respect for the history of art, showing how much we can learn from the past, and their storylines bring you back for centuries. And still stay fashionable.
This is what the young Bulgarian artist Lubena Fox chose for herself. Of course, the Fox family is her artistic nickname. Instead of staying in Florence, where in 2016 she graduated from the Academy of Classical Fine Arts, Angel, she decided to return to her homeland with friends and relatives. And rushes to the artworks here as proof of the maxim that there are no boundaries for talent. Especially today when we live in a global village.

Lyubena’s drawing style is a revival of realism. The 24-year-old Bulgarian thinks it’s much easier to provoke or shock someone today, but it’s much harder to bring peace to his life. With this tricky task she has taken care of herself and her only desire is to do things that will be kept in time that will not be thrown away but will also be a technique. “As an artist, I want to show the beauty of the little things in nature and life, the splendor of details,” she tells “Trud”. In fact, when you look at her paintings, you’re at least 100 years back, and more. Still life brings that nostalgia and sadness that makes you relax and enjoy the beautiful and merry-go-round. Time seems to have stopped, and nature seems to be right there in front of you, alive, but unchanging.
Interesting is the young artist’s technique. Lyubena Fox’s paintings are painted in layers, using the transparent qualities of oil paint. Each layer is applied after the previous one has dried, making the picture durable over time. It also creates a three-dimensional effect due to the different layers showing each other. These paintings are made, following the logic of how the eye perceives: seeing the details in the context of the form. “In order to create a complete experience, the images are composed of places filled with detail, as well as places where the eye can rest,” explains Lyubena.

Soon she has two solo exhibitions at the “Enakor” Gallery in 2017 and, to her surprise, even sells a lot of paintings during this first art show, and as a young person she knows that advertising is very important. People won’t know about you and your paintings if you do not use the social networks, or art sites like the Art Renewal Center (ARC) organization aiming to revive realism in visual arts. Lyubena’s work is not for everyone’s pocket. The opening at gallery “Enakor” came famous artist Svetlin Rusev, who liked and appreciated what he saw. “I was so excited about his assessment that it gave me wings, in fact he gave me my blessing to continue to make art,” says Lyubena.
And just less than a month ago, Lisa Monaco, an adviser to former US President Barack Obama, pays for one of the paintings of the Bulgarian- “The Nest” 5000 euros. She liked the painting so much that she immediately ordered another one – “The Traveler’s Desk”, for which she delivers the fantastic 10,000 Euros, and statistics immediately point out that Lyubena ranks among the top-paying artists of her age here, she is very happy but she realizes that this is a chance, of course, she immediately says with a smile that she is not rich because she does not sell so often, but she is blown away by the flying start of her career, and she dreams of returning the craft to art, to know the technique – in this case the oil, how it behaves and interacts with its surrounding, how aging may cause it to crack…

Already there are collectors interested in her work, as well as other artists. Her works are connoisseurs outside of Bulgaria, like the United States, Switzerland, Spain … She was also ordered to paint a copy of St. Seraphim and the people of the Russian Church in Sofia remain extremely satisfied and want another copy of it.

Her talent for painting is, in fact, unique. In her family no one has anything to do with art. At the advice of her parents, she enters an elite language school in Sofia, stayes a term and understands that this is not her place. She wants to paint … Moves to the National High School of Fine Arts “Ilia Petrov”, but she is disappointed with the training there. Lyubena checked many academies and universities in Europe, it turns out there are just a few that teach classical fine art. Once she enters the Angel Academy in Florence, she is immediately impressed by the work of the students, which clearly shows the level of teaching.

She studied for three years there, after which she specialized with her favourite contemporary artist: Roberto Ferri, who makes extremely expressive figures. He is in fact the person to whom the cardinals have commissioned to portray the current Pope. Lyubena won a scholarship and went to further study with Maestro John Angel. And since the beginning of this year, she has also taught students at the Academy in Florence. She has three individual students who wish come to study here with her. At the Academy in Florence, the Bulgarian girl learns of discipline and acquires a technique that allows her to make all her wonderful paintings with oil paint. She wants and dreams not to lose what mankind has created over the centuries for us to continue be building up on it.
The beauty of the little things in nature and life in her paintings is a bit grim. This may come from the conflict that things are beautiful but fleeting and they do not stay with time. It is with art that Lyubena wants to catch the bond and keep them. Both feelings and flowers are perishable, and you want to keep them. Like memories.

The Bulgarian like artists from the 19th and 18th centuries, as well as contemporary painters. Besides her favorite Roberto Ferri, Lyubena also loves William Draper, who creates beautiful and elegant pictures. But her heart is in the 19th century French school and William Bouguereau. Florence is a city which you cannot resist not falling in love with. The architecture, small old streets side streets not preferred by crowds of tourists, the amazing atmosphere – all this makes you do art. Her favorite places are the Michelangelo Square, where the whole city is in view, along with the swirling Arno River. Palazzo Pitti – a wonderful palace with beautiful paintings, from where also has a wonderful view of Florence. Florentine Ice Cream and Sushi are an added bonus to the beauty of the place.
Lyubena tells her that she paints standing and often sings while making art. Sometime that even turns into a dance. Inspired by Lana Del Ray’s music and songs, she manages to express the melancholy she feels. In addition to creating still-life, she has been painting portrays lately.  Lyubena receives orders from friends, and now from strangers. One of the latter is a portrait of a famous professor whom his friends decide to surprise. The result is brilliant and the everyone at the birthday is delighted. Her last painting is she portrays how the nymph of Rila Lakes would look like.
Each of her paintings it’s own story. Here is the “Nest” that Lisa Monaco bought. In it nature is put in a theatrical setting order to highlight her beauty. The nest full of eggs symbolizes the fragileness of new life, while the bird represents the figure of the protector who gives warmth and hope for the future.
The soap bubbles contribute as a symbol of the ephemerality of life. The whole outlook and message is to enjoy nature, but with a tender care, because, like the soap bubble, we can ruin it with one touch.
The final motif is the yellow snail symbolizing the circle of life. The humility and respect with witch we must treat nature and life.

Lyubena is in love with Bulgarian nature. And she can not understand why people love to pollute it so much. This has been the most irritating thing to her ever since she returned home. She thinks that one needs to analyze themselves and get to know one’s true nature. In this way they may  live more consciously and respect others around them . When she encounters another knockdown of complexes, Lyubena’s answer to that is her art. The painting, which soothes and inspires.

article written by journalist Mariela Baleva