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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Margarita Pueva

A "mad" millinery concoction of Margarita Pueva. Don't look for a title, few of her works have them.
From childhood, most people are familiar with Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. And likewise, most people are familiar with one of the most delightful characters in his story, the Mad Hatter (Carroll never refers to him as "mad"). The children's novel was first published in England in 1865. Although the Mad Hatter appears in only one chapter he has proven to be one of the most memorable figures in Carroll's cast of crazies. The reason I mention him is that he was the first to come to mind as I encountered the art of the Bulgarian painter and sculptor, Margarita Pueva.

Mad Hatter or Postmodern master?
Margarita painted highly simplistic profiles of ladies wearing hats of her own design (top). Even at first glance, the connection to Carroll's Hatter is obvious. What's not so obvious is the example her work delineates between the Mod-ern Art of roughly the mid-1800s extending up through to the mid-1900s, and present day Postmodern art. Margarita Pueva was (she died recently) a thoroughly Postmodern artist. Had she been born somewhat earlier (she was born in 1950) she might well have simply painted attractive young ladies in a more realistic or a more expressionist style wearing quite traditional head coverings, or none at all.
A Margarita Pueva model.

If ladies' hats ever make a comeback... Then again, perhaps
Pueva's creations will guarantee they never will.
Instead, working in a Postmodern mode, Mar-garita Pueva's hats are far more outlandish, hum-orous, curious, and indeed, often quite im-possible. A graduate of the University of Veliko Tarnovo, Pueva's specialty was painting, but her affinity was to sculpture. Her first showing was in the Gabrovo National Exhibition "Man and Labor", where she presents her diploma work--the two compositions Girl with tape and Girl with Hoop. Later both were bought from Pernik Municipality, cast in bronze, and mounted in the city park.
A painted bronze fashion show. Her fashions are apparently available with or without arms.
Here, with so many solemn symbols a title would be of utmost value in determining the artists motives and message.
Pueva's sculpture usually consists of rather tall, slender models wearing her own dress designs. In 2003, she opened her own Puueva Gallery in Düsseldorf. Her works are exhibited in more than twenty countries around the world and are owned by many museums and private collections. By participating in almost all major forums for fine arts, her work has been awarded many international awards. Recently she published a biographical book, Bend to the Queen. Works by Margarita Pueva are exhibited in the National Gallery in Sofia, the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, the Fine Arts Gallery in Dresden as well as in galleries and private collections in Bulgaria, Belgium, Germany, China, France, UK, Hong Kong, Italy, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Russia, Hungary, USA, the Vatican and Venezuela.
A simple red sheath.
What does it all mean? Well, without titles, we are left to guess, investigate,
grab hold of remote possibilities, and have fun making up our own titles.
As of 2017, paintings and sculptures by Margarita Pueva have been exhibited in 32 solo exhibitions and 62 group exhibitions in Bulgaria, Germany, China, France, UK, Italy, Russia, Spain, Syria, USA. Since 1991, Margarita Pueva lived and worked in Germany until her death.

A Pueva plus-size model


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