Kras  Gorin


“There is something distinct and individual about your work,” cubist legend Luigi Montanarini said to Kras Gorin, a seventeen-year-old Bulgarian art student, while sipping espresso in Rome.  “I myself get a creative impulse when I look at your work.”

    Some thirty years later, Montanarini’s words are more fitting than ever.  The only thing as distinct and individual as Kras’s work is the life that led him to become the world-class artist he is today.  He was only thirteen years old when he was invited to do his first solo exhibition in Sofia, Bulgaria.  After graduating from the High School Academy of Art in Sofia, Kras continued his education in Rome, Italy, at the Academy of Fine Arts in 1965 where he studied under the famous cubist Luigi Montanarini. 


    After graduation, Kras made the decision to defect to the United States in pursuit of freedom, both artistic and personal.  On his own in the States, Kras was literally a “young, starving artist” and lived the role, working a wide range of jobs for his livelihood.  During this difficult time, Kras remained loyal to his passion, and when he was not working his “day job”, he was perfecting his own techniques and forging ahead with his career.  In 1971, he was commissioned to paint the Aragon Ballroom on Chicago’s North Side.


    From the mid-seventies to the mid-nineties, Kras lived in Arizona.  Seeing Antonioni’s “Zabriskie Point” left him awestruck by the otherworldly surreal landscape, and he decided that was the place for an artist like him.  During those years, he founded the European School of Monumental Art teaching painting and sketching classes and displayed his art at galleries in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Santa Barbara, California.


    Looking back, Kras Gorin’s artistic journey started long before he was born in Bulgaria in 1948.  The legacy began with Kras’s grandfather Ivan Gorinov who was in the first graduating class of the High School Academy of Art in Sofia, Bulgaria, and studied under Czech artist Ivan Mirkvichka.  Kras’s parents were well known artists.  Boris Gorinov (1915-1992) was a fine artist known for his landscapes, portraits, sculptures, and, late in life, for his miniatures depicting a maritime theme.  He participated in many exhibitions, ten of which were one-man shows.  His last solo exhibition in 1987 took place in London, England at the Black Sea House.  Kras’s mother Yova Raevska (1918-2000) was a celebrated ceramic artist who won many international prizes for her eclectic work.  Some of her pieces are on display at the Museum in Troyan, Bulgaria.  Yova was enormously respected, and Kras grew up absorbing the wisdom of the eminent men of art who dropped by at his mother’s studio. 


    As foretold by his mentor Montanarini long ago, Kras’s life has continued down a unique, distinct, and inspirational path.  Following the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1994, he returned to a free Bulgaria, to a quiet villa on the slope of a beautiful mountain with a garden where he could once and for all devote himself entirely to his true life’s work.  This artistic autonomy has led to an extremely prolific period for Kras, and he has had five solo exhibitions between 1994 and 2002.  When asked to describe his paintings, he is silent, saying only, “All my works have movement and sensitivity, but let others describe them.”


    Kras will be dividing his time between Tempe, Arizona and Wilmington, Delaware, to be near his grandchildren.  He currently has work on display in his studio at the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art and ING Direct Bank has acquired a large-scale painting titled “Campus Skyline” (36” x 60”) where proceeds have gone to the Kids Foundation.

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