I'm Tanya Atanasova, I'm a contemporary realist artist born in Bulgaria, based in Antwerp, Belgium.

At the moment I’m working on a large series of portraits of people I know very well or people that have played an important role in my life throughout the years. This two-and-a-half-year project, in which I want to capture more than just the outer appearance of my models is called “You, my dear” and is all about friendship.

In my artistic practice, I use a lot of modern painting techniques to create the different “layers” of a personality, character, spirit, presence… I devote a lot of attention to the construction of my character’s personalities. Being interested in the psychology of my models, I want to become an intermediary between subject and viewer – building a connection that goes beyond painted realism. My gaze is directed deep into the story of every personage, I create his/her identity and unique complexity. Looking at the paintings should be like taking a glimpse into the character’s diary or reading a page out of his/her biography.

I have started this project two years ago doing everything on my own: traveling far to interview my models and get some pictures, working long days in my atelier, developing the website, buying materials, painting for months, crating, shipping, writing, publishing … But it still is a project of great importance to me - this is my way of saying “thank you” to these people for being next to me all these years. I’m telling their stories, I’m painting/celebrating the link with them!"

More info: atanasova.be | Facebook

#1

I Spent Over 2 Years Creating Personal Portraits Of My Friends As A Way Of Saying Thank You To Them

Lou, oil on Belgian linen, 120 x 110cm, 2019.

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Luis Milian 2 months ago

this reminds me of the portrait of dorian gray

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#2

I Spent Over 2 Years Creating Personal Portraits Of My Friends As A Way Of Saying Thank You To Them

Michel, oil on Belgian linen, 120 x 110cm, 2016.

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Withnail 2 months ago

"Every year the swallows return to their nest on top of Michel's head" - Sir David Attenborough

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#3

I Spent Over 2 Years Creating Personal Portraits Of My Friends As A Way Of Saying Thank You To Them

Judith, dancing, oil on Belgian linen, 200 x 60cm, 2017.

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cryingcat 2 months ago

Beautiful

#4

I Spent Over 2 Years Creating Personal Portraits Of My Friends As A Way Of Saying Thank You To Them

Michel with octopus, oil on Belgian linen, 120 x 110cm, 2016.

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#5

I Spent Over 2 Years Creating Personal Portraits Of My Friends As A Way Of Saying Thank You To Them

Smokey eyes / Joëlle, oil on Belgian linen, 120 x 110cm, 2017.

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Bitter Betty 2 months ago

I love this one the most - Very 70's spirited. All of these are great because I can imagine pieces of the conversations I would have with these people and I can almost hear what their voices might sound like.

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#6

I Spent Over 2 Years Creating Personal Portraits Of My Friends As A Way Of Saying Thank You To Them

Philip dyeing his beard and eyebrows with henna, oil on Belgian linen, 110 x 110cm, 2018.

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Ahnnah Newell 2 months ago

very strange.

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#7

I Spent Over 2 Years Creating Personal Portraits Of My Friends As A Way Of Saying Thank You To Them

Guillaume, oil on Belgian linen, 120 x 110cm, 2018.

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Ahnnah Newell 2 months ago

That jacket! It looks sooo much like a photo!

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#8

I Spent Over 2 Years Creating Personal Portraits Of My Friends As A Way Of Saying Thank You To Them

Lore, entangled, oil on Belgian linen, 130 x 120cm, 2017.

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Maggie Ha 2 months ago

Technophobe

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#9

I Spent Over 2 Years Creating Personal Portraits Of My Friends As A Way Of Saying Thank You To Them

Jens, oil on Belgian linen, 140 x 110cm, 2018.

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Pretty Pangolin 2 months ago

This looks more 'painterly' than the others, but the timeframe is the same.

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#10

I Spent Over 2 Years Creating Personal Portraits Of My Friends As A Way Of Saying Thank You To Them

Connected II, oil on Belgian linen, 70 x 100cm, 2017.

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spirit wolf 2 months ago

Welk, after careful observation of your friends I think I can conclude that Michael is definitely the sexy one.

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#11

I Spent Over 2 Years Creating Personal Portraits Of My Friends As A Way Of Saying Thank You To Them

Octoman Michel, oil on Belgian linen, 150 x 120cm, 2017.

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Pretty Pangolin 2 months ago

They're getting a lot of mileage out of that squid!

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