Orlin Mantchev Born in Bulgaria, 1962, OM is a contemporary Minimalist artist who unites Western and Eastern culture and values. Drawing on his love of nature and spirituality, he makes meditative paintings that are both authentic and profound, both uplifting and healing. His paintings have been widely exhibited in prominent galleries in Athens, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Montreal, New York, Sofia, St. John’s and Toronto. His work can be found in the permanent collections of the Art Bank of Canada and the National Gallery of Bulgaria.
After selective competition, in 1976, OM was accepted to study in Bulgaria’s exclusive High School of Fine Arts, winning two scholarships over the duration of five years. Following six years of classical training, in 1989, he graduated with a Master’s degree in painting from the prestigious Nicolai Pavlovich University of Fine Arts in Sofia. In 1990, OM immigrated to Canada, making it his new home and establishing an art career that had already taken root in Europe. In 1994, after traveling to India and the Himalayas, profound spiritual experiences deepened Orlin’s vision and perspective of the art and alike. This experience led to a process of simplification and a movement toward the contemplative.
Today OM remains devoted to his meditative style, actively contributing to the art scene by inviting the viewer to contemplate the beauty of nature.
“My works fuse the rich tradition of European art with Oriental, poetic simplicity, resulting in a timeless quietude reminiscent of Zen meditation. These are paintings for the mind as much as for the eye, mappings of mystical territories into which I offer intensive experiences of the infinity and richness of nature. As an engraved history of my past, ancient murals, fayum portraits and icons found in the Mediterranean region influenced my encaustic technique, distinguishable by an exceptional depth of time faded textures. As an artist throughout the years I developed my own method – cold acrylic encaustic, which to the eye, the paint handling is light and smooth. Building my paintings layer by layer with paste, formulated from natural pigments, wax and graphite and drawing the image from life, enables me to achieve soulful realistic expression of the world around me in subtle spatial atmosphere conducive to meditative art. At once, tranquil and inspiring, my paintings become indoor gardens inviting the viewer to contemplate the beauty of nature’s most mystical creations.”