One for the money, Two for the show
One for the money, two for the show is Stefan Nikolaev's first monograph, with three essays and an interview.
Born 1970 in Sofia (Bulgaria), Stefan Nikolaev lives and works in Paris. “Stefan Nikolaev's body of work is quite obviously centered on the multiple transformations and crossovers between what we know about objects from everyday life and what the artist is making us reconsider when thinking about the new form and vision he invests in them. Under the visual surface of his works there is an on-going narrative about the complex relations that the artist has with life and death, time and space, consumerism and basic necessities of life. This story has been unfolding in a fluid current over a period of more than fifteen years of his activities on the international art scene. The plot is far from over and in recent years it has acquired the kind of depth and strength of presence that transform the engaging and playful ideas of a young artist into a strong statement. He is extremely careful about the execution and the form of his works to the point of obsessive engagement with their physical presence qualities. Maybe this is his way of making the works attractive and communicative; or maybe this is his way of rendering the work durable and lasting while also overcoming the fears that are hidden deep into the thinking behind the works. The typical for Stefan Nikolaev designrelated handling of form and ideas could be described as design with a twist—there is too much to read in his works, too much to associate and think about when in their presence rather than simply consider them in straight functional sense. (...) It is very tempting to make a claim that Stefan Nikolaev's work is not only anti-consumerist but also deeply concerned with the ultimate matters of growth and decay, light and darkness, up- and downward movement, while at the same time employing the seductive language of attractive and desirable objectiveness. Stefan Nikolaev comes forward as a down-to-earth existentialist and his art as the product of an optimist who is constantly afraid that his worst dreams will not come true—after all, nothing is forever, not even smoking.” Iara Boubnova