Nikola Dimitrov

„In my pictures I try to make the music visible in a visual language.“

Born in 1961 in Mettlach/Saar, the artist Nikola Dimitrov first studied at the Musikhochschule des Saarlandes and reached concert maturity as a pianist in 1988. His artistic development is therefore strongly caught between music and painting, which he has been working on since 1980. Since 2000 he is a freelance painter. Nikola Dimitrov lives and works in Heusweiler near Saarbrücken and in Cologne.

We wanted to get a deeper insight into sources of inspiration and working methods and asked some questions:

15P Education
22P Work
21P Significance

Why did you start working as an artist?

As a painter and pianist, I am interested in the interplay between music and painting. Originally, I studied piano at the Musikhochschule des Saarlandes and now I try to make music visible in a visual language.

Is there something or someone that influences you?

In the beginning it was definitely the music of famous composers. Meanwhile, not only do these compositions resonate in my paintings, but I also use my own music. I play and improvise on the piano to my pictures or my pictures inspire and influence my music.

Which techniques do you prefer?

I work with line sequences. These different overlays characterize the structures and nuances of the pictures. This creates countless possibilities of structures, patterns and pictures. This characterizes my paintings.

How do you describe your music?

`Minimal´ is the genre I orientate myself on. When you see my paintings, you also notice that reduced means can be seen in them. They are recurring motifs, tones and sounds that repeat themselves, but always sound different.

Can your music be felt through the pictures?

Yes, absolutely. Let´s take the work `Klangraum´: before there was no music, but rather a feeling of music, of vibrations that caused me to paint the picture like this. These are the above-mentioned lines.

Line sequences arise when I put paint on the canvas with a large brush. Thereby the canvas starts to swing. With my hand I touch the fabric like a drummer in order to calm the sound - and this also in a figurative sense - to stop it so that further sounds and tones can emerge.

What is important to you?

Painting and music are interplay inspirations for one and for the other. I hope that I can develop this further.

Who and what inspires you?

The music of the composer Gerhard Stäblers spontaneously brought me to a new kind of painting. It has created colour lines and structural grids, which I am still developing today. They are overlays of vertical, diagonal and horizontal lines.

But even during moments of pausing and looking at my work, inspiration can come, and I sit down at the piano and play.

Which materials do you work with and why?

I like to paint on paper and canvas, I use self-made acrylic paint, which I make from pigments and binders.

Are there colours and shapes that you prefer?

There are two colour worlds in my work: either black/white/grey or a specific colour determines what happens.

My black and white works live from the contrast black, white, grey, light and dark. In these works, the rhythmic action on the background is important.

The colored works, on the other hand, live from nuances, from many layers and from color overlays. Emotionality, sound and gestures are expressed here.

Is there a connection between your pictures and your music?

The process at the piano and the process on the canvas or paper with brush is always independent. The painting process is very concentrated, it cannot be interrupted by playing the piano. If it is, it is spontaneous. I sit down at the piano, put my fingers on the keys and my fingers play as if by themselves.

During the process at the piano or during an improvisation, a path suddenly develops that reaches a climax. At some point the fingers, the head, my heart and my feelings know `now is the end´.

What would you like to achieve in five years?

I hope that it will go on and that my ideas will not stop developing. I would like to continue to implement my ideas and hope that many variations of pictures can continue to emerge.

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