I was born in Sofia, Bulgaria in 1963 in the family of civil engineers. During my high school studies I got interested in photography as a hobby and between 1978 and 1983 I taught myself the basic mphotographic shooting and darkroom techniques. In the mid-80's I became making the transition from a hobbyist to a photographer, consciously using the camera to make a statement in the tradition of the reportorial, socially-engaged photography of Robert Frank and Henri Cartier Bresson, who were my formative influences. During the years 1983-1990 I had numerous exhibitions and magazine publications in Bulgaria and abroad, and I gained the confidence, technique and scope of thinking of an artist.In 1990 I immigrated to the USA, a move that changed my life, both on the existential and the esthetic level. My MFA studies at the School Of Visual Arts (1993-1994) expanded the scope of my interests and references beyond the world of photography. My work has remained photographic in nature but has shifted towards a subjective, semiabstract mode of expression which I continue exploring at present.
The series RUPTURE examines the urban landscape in Sofia, Bulgaria with the premise that metaphors about city and about Bulgaria consistently visualize themselves in the public and semi-public spaces. The high degree of chaos and neglect in many of those spaces?at least according to Western standards?manifests the enmeshment of the personal and the public/business sides of life in Bulgaria. To the eyes of the photographer, a "native stranger" in this land, the social landscape consistently presents ruptures in the social fabric, which are discovered and photographed avoiding human presence in the frame.
Rafaelo Kazakov, March 2010
Museum Of Fine Arts, Houston
Preus Fotomuseum, Horten, Norway
Musee de la Photographie, Charleroi, Belgium
Museet For Fotokunst, Odense, Denmark
National Art Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria
Christianity and Culture (Bulgaria), European Photography magazine
(Germany), Imago magazine (Slovakia), Thank you by Robert Frank, Scalo,
1996; The New York Art World magazine (NYC), FO magazine (Bulgaria),
Bulgarsko Photo magazine (Bulgaria), Design Times magazine (Boston), Art
In Bulgaria (Bulgaria), SLR Photography (U.K.), Nudes, (Bulgaria), Amateur
Photographer (U.K.), Katalog (Denmark), Creative Camera (U.K.), Looking
East, (Denmark), Contemporary Bulgarian Creative Photography, (Bulgaria)