Greek – Bulgarian

An artistic duo

Vangelis Kyris was born in Athens. He studied fashion design and had a remarkable career as a designer, stylist, and fashion director at Gynaika Magazine before turning to photography. He has worked extensively in Greece and abroad, has collaborated with Giorgio Armani,and has photographed personalities from the art world, especially actors,dancers, and musicians. From 2010 to 2018, he passionately pursued other formsof artistic photography beyond the fashion world. In 2014, as the Greek economic crisis was reaching its peak, he met Anatoli Georgiev, and together, they laid the foundations of their future artistic collaboration.

Anatoli Georgiev was born in Svishtov, Bulgaria. He studied agriculture in Trambesh and dance at Veliko Tarnovo’s State School of Dance. As a child, he used to paint on fabric, and it was during an art class in elementary school that he created his very first embroidery: the outline of a white dove on black canvas. His inclination toward art manifested itself early on, leading him to seek various ways of expression, among which interior design and dance costumes. In 2007 he moved to Athens, where he lives and works, to this day.

Since their first exhibition (Voyage Within, 2019), Vangelis Kyris and Anatoli Georgiev have approached costume traditions from around the world in their own unique manner. When the National Historical Museum in Athens entrusted them with the authentic garments of its collection to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution, the two artists realised their vision by creating a new visual world between photography and embroidery. In recent years their work has been supported by a series of state and private institutions, particularly by the George & Victoria Karelia Foundation, the Anastasios G. Leventis Foundation, the Embassy of Greece in Seoul, the Anthony E. Comninos Foundation, the Valmont Foundation, the Embassy of Greece in Sofia, and the Marianna V. Vardinoyannis Foundation. The Museum of ancient Eleutherna in Crete, the Acropolis Museum and the Palazzo Bonvicini in Venice have hosted their exhibitions, while the National Bulgarian Ethnographic Museum in Sofia will host new exhibitions.

The mixed media artworks of Kyris and Georgiev combine photography with embroidery to create something truly unique in the contemporary art world. Their portraits in the Acropolis Museum exhibition reference history, ethnography, fashion, and museum treasures. In addition to costume tradition, the artists also employ the theatrical expression of women and men who stand in front of Vangelis Kyris’ lens dressed in the authentic garments of past centuries. The portraits are then printed on 100% cotton canvas, where Anatoli Georgiev uses his needle to create subtle details using golden, silver, metal, silk, and cotton threads. Owing to textile art, embroidery now holds a special position among contemporary art forms, while in the portraits of Kyris and Georgiev, it dynamically converses with contemporary photography.