Orlin Mantchev is a contemporary multi-disciplinary artist, currently living and working in Toronto. Born in Bulgaria, his formal art education began with five years in the High School of Fine Arts in Sofia. In 1989 he graduated with a Master's Degree in painting from Nicolai Pavlovich University of Fine Arts in Sofia. Having already begun to establish a career in Europe, he emigrated in 1990 and has since then called Canada home.
Orlin's excellent education provided him with the capability of working in an unusually broad range of media. Comfortable with most genres, his first few years in Canada were spent in St. John's, Newfoundland, where he met with considerable success. In his early thirties, following years of traveling to many countries and exploring different cultural and spiritual traditions, he discovered meditation as a transformative approach in his daily life. This proved pivotal. Since that time, his devotion to the cultivation of mindfulness in daily life and artistic practices has gradually led to a simplification of his work and a movement towards the contemplative.
A long-term ambition addresses the creation of public 'Mindfulness Art Spaces', which are intended to be a kind interactive, non-denominational shrine: a 'Peace Room' where the focus is on cultivating an inclusive, meditative experience with a heightened awareness of our shared existence on the planet.
Orlin's work has been exhibited in prominent galleries in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Montreal, New York, Sofia, and St. John's, and can be found in the permanent collections of the Art Bank of Canada and the National Gallery of Bulgaria.
My art is meditative.
As an artist, I use multidisciplinary approaches to facilitate meditative experience. The viewer is invited to engage with my work in a way that meets them where they are in the moment and then encourages a mindful journey. Over many years, I have been cultivating mindfulness in my daily life and in my creative practice, and this process has found organic expression in the shaping of my drawings and paintings and in workshops on mindfulness in art and design.
In today's hectic life, overwhelmed with many competing ideas and flooded with imagery and every kind of sensory stimulation, I find that these stressful challenges bring the question: "Where am I in all of this?" For myself, I found after years of participating in this endless drama that I needed time off. Just to be aware of the need to stop for a moment and take a breath of fresh air turned out to be a priceless gift. The cultivation of inner peace is a benefit which I feel compelled to share with others through my art. Truly, inner and outer peace have largely merged into one long-lasting creative inspiration.
Discussing and commenting on my art is of little importance to me. But sharing the experience of peace and finding a way to step out of our typical dualistic constructs for a moment through my art is very important. It gives me great satisfaction to know that the offer of this possibility is taken up and considered by the viewer.