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Ivo Pecov on painting and the poetic perception of the world. Interview for Actualno.com, editor Evgenia Chausheva

How did you start drawing?
I have been drawing since my earliest years, an initial period that I don't even remember well, on which my parents have told me about later. The earliest memories that come to mind and which are related with me holding a pen and a sheet of paper in my hands are from the age of 4 in Skopje. Then I had passed surgery and I was with a cheerful and fearless spirit in front of the later closed heavy door and the ensuing complete darkness in the lonely room. That child, who is the father of the person I am now, have sensed my current direction in life. It happened with me so that I did not forget my childhood preferences and later when I had important questions in life, I always turned to the child I was, to ask it for its opinion. The most common questions I asked were of an aesthetic nature and in my work I tried to satisfy my initial impulses and searches. This is how I look at art even today - art that opposes our innate inner childhood purity is distorted and against people's health and lives. Such art, unfortunately, is in abundance today and is sold for the highest prices on the art market - the thing you buy (if you have millions), so that after you put it at home, it makes you sick.
Is it this your calling?
Drawing is a way to discover the worlds we live in. This is how children discover, and artists continue this way as being big children. In painting, the world around us and the world of human depths meet - the depths in which the Creator, who is a spring of art, resides. The painted work has the visual language of the world around us and the world of our individuality and uniqueness. My task was to embark on this adventure, like a diver headed towards incredible and untouched world, carrying the desire from the depths to bring to the surface the most beautiful pearls.
When did you realize that this is your calling?
I consciously discovered my calling for being an artist at the age of 14, a decision that overshadowed my musical inclinations. Since then, I have never doubted my direction, despite my character, who doubts about many things. Drawing and painting turned out to be my calling and field of action, art gave the meaning to my existence.
At the beginning of my art education in the department of Graphics at the High School for Arts in Skopje, for the first time I was in touch with classical graphic techniques, applied graphics, oil and acrylic painting. There followed a period in which I was strongly involved in the magic of graphics and this continued during my student period in Sofia. My desire for more direct and expressive artistic statement pushed me into the waters of painting, in the sphere in which I most often create today. My desire to explore the world in its fullness has led me to science, music, poetry, but painting and drawing for me is the most convenient language I use.
What is it like to be a visual artist?
The drawing man is aware of its own existence, this is what I think. This gives me the understanding that I am real, like all the others who have not yet become machines and robots… Considering myself as curious for knowledge, drawing opened up  many horizons for me, these were the visions that I tried to materialize in my works of art over the past periods. Of course, as the views and accompanying them horizons were changing, so did my works were changing also. I appeared to be an artist who changes his style and way of painting, depending on the decision to look to one or another horizon. My experience with art in justified my early thoughts that one must constantly grow and never stop improving himself. Life is a process of constant learning. In this spirit, I completed my master's degree in 2005 at the National Academy of Arts in Sofia and in the same academy I defended my doctoral dissertation in 2010. After the dissertation defense, I was again happy to behave myself as an artist, not as a scientist with a degree in science. For me again was proven the fact, that despite my ability to enter various fields of knowledge, the most important thing is the poetic perception of the world, because it is the most realistic and true approach (which most people distort by considering it frivolous).
Why did you choose to receive your professional education in Bulgaria?
I graduated from the State High School for Arts in Skopje in 1999 and even before graduation I had decided to continue my education in Bulgaria. For this decision I had assistance by famous artists in the Republic of Macedonia, whose opinion I respect. So in the summer of 1999 I was in Sofia to apply to the recommended and highly rated academy by my mentors in the Republic of Macedonia. After finishing my student period, I tried to leave Bulgaria several times, but in the end it always was happening to come back again. I had no intention of staying in Bulgaria and at least I wanted to return to Macedonia, as during this period I was not desirable for Western Europe without a visa (which I failed to obtain). It turned out that Bulgaria was the country that eventually accepted me and in which I felt free to breathe. Appreciating this, I stayed to live in Sofia.
What do you think about Bulgaria, about the Bulgarians?
Your home is where you feel yourself. Over the years in Bulgaria I have made many friendships with people with whom we were building our creative personaleties during the studies at the Academy, with others we have worked on projects, and some were colleagues in various places where I have worked in the past. These valuable contacts are alive here and I try to extend them because I believe that the personality of each of us is enriched through contacts with others. Some circumstances made me feel more useful in strengthening the contacts between the cultures of the Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Bulgaria, this I refer to my activity as an organizer of cultural events in the Cultural and Information Center of the Republic of Macedonia in Sofia (for whose trust I am grateful to the director of the Center). Wonderful and talented people live in Bulgaria. I am thankful and grateful to Bulgaria for accepting me and giving me the opportunity for education, to improve and live among friends here.
Sofia, August 26th, 2016