From the series "The Last Man Standing in the Rhodope Mountains".
Museum quality open edition print.Fine Art Giclée Print made using the latest professional art inkjet machines and hand-picked archival art paper. The Giclee is widely adopted for its astonishing quality by major museums, galleries, publishers and artists. Handmade in London.
The Rhodope Mountains spread over 18 000 sq. km. area with deep gorges, vast hills of greenery and rugged peaks. With their serene glory, the mountains proudly reign over the Thracian valley on the North and the South. Battered by inclement northern winds and caressed by the southern breezes from the Aegean Sea, this once home of myths and heroes, of Orpheus and Bacchae, saw for centuries on little towns, lively villages and hamlets of just 3-4 km distance one from another, nestled on the opposite mountain slopes, playing the role of stronghold of trade and tradition.
Today, the Mountains are depopulated, over 95% of their territory. Young people born here have long emigrated, the schools are closed and most of the villages are ghost dwellings with dilapidated empty houses exposed only to forgetfulness and the mercy of Gods. The few remained denizens are extremely happy to welcome every chance visitor like a family member. Braving the solitude and the elements; the last man standing in the Rhodope is a proud epitome of the human race.
Valery Poshtarov was born in Dobrich (Bulgaria) in 1986. The son of an artist and a poet, he grew up ever surrounded by artistic people. At the age of 8, his family settled in Varna. During summer breaks he worked in some of his father’s numerous art galleries along the northern Black Sea coast; during the school year, he mastered the fine art and painting techniques at the National High School of Arts in Varna.
In 2006 he moved to Paris where he graduated Plastic Arts from the Sorbonne. His talent was immediately appreciated and his professors encouraged him to finish the three-year bachelor degree in one single year. This period is related to his vivid interest in the classical French humanist photography genre from the mid-twentieth century. Exhibitions of works from that period were presented in Paris, Berlin, Frankfurt, Sofia and more. Meanwhile, the Bulgarian Cultural Institute in Paris nominated him for the Cartier-Bresson Award. Despite the nomination and despite the 35 consecutive exhibitions in various parts of Europe (spanning from 2007 to 2012), in the end, Valery went back to Bulgaria, choosing to shut himself out of the noise and vanity of the cocktail parties inevitably accompanying each exhibition. He fervidly photographed and painted across villages and monasteries: from the Rhodope Mountains to the Balkan Mountains; from the Kapinovo Monastery to the Zograf Monastery on Mount Athos. Rarely using his own car, he preferred to hitchhike his way through.
In 2011 he settled in Sofia and founded the first online art gallery in Eastern Europe. During the last few years, he’s been working tirelessly to promote contemporary Bulgarian artists. His frequent encounters with artists became the driving force behind a series of photographic portraits. In 2018 he undertook a significant 6-month trip around the Balkans and thus, some of his major works were created - “The Last Man Standing in the Rhodope Mountains” for which he had to visit no less than 560 villages to find his “Rhodope man”; and “Where the Mountains Flow Into the Black Sea” for which he had to travel whole 3000 km across the Pontic Mountains in northern Turkey.
The art of Valery Poshtarov is part of major collections of different official institutions around the world: Presidency of the Republic of France, the French embassy in Ireland, Bulgarian Cultural Centre in Paris, Evgenii Evtushenko Museum in Moscow and others.