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Nedko Solakov: 99 Fears by Suzaan Boettger

Author: Suzaan Boettger
Book title: Nedko Solakov: 99 Fears
ISBN10: 0714848883
ISBN13: 978-0714848884
Publisher: Phaidon Press; Ill edition (October 15, 2008)
Language: English
Pages: 112
Size PDF: 1287 kb
Size FB2: 1871 kb
Size ePUB: 1142 kb
Rating: 4.4 ✯
Votes: 181
Subcategory: Individual Artists

Nedko Solakov: 99 Fears by Suzaan Boettger

Bulgarian artist Nedko Solakov (b. 1957) understands fear. While living for three decades under a dictatorship, he was no stranger to the secret police. In his art, however, he has maintained a level of humor and sincerity that is as remarkable as it is touching.Fears, which was first exhibited at Documenta 12 in 2007, consists of 99 drawings on paper. Each of the drawings is 19 x 28 centimeters and bears a handwritten caption. Together they represent a catalogue of worries, apprehensions, and phobias that veer from the hilarious to the arresting. Some are personal (no. 27 shows an abstract shape bearing the word 'AIDS', with a caption that reads, 'One of my biggest fears (sometimes the biggest), and I am not really screwing around.'). Other fears resemble timeless fables (no. 2: 'A mighty devil is listening to the problems of a little sinner. It seems that the devil will help the little sinner solve his problems. However, he wants something in return one of the sinner's daily fears. The devil is curious what the feeling of having a fear is like.'). Others are snapshots of existential despair (no. 78 shows a figure pausing at the edge of a cliff: 'A desperate man wants to commit suicide by jumping from a cliff. Here comes an unexpected obstacle there is no water down there, only stones, very hard and ominous looking stones.'). Even at its darkest, Fears still radiates Solakov's whimsical humor.Solakov's work has been shown in the world's top museums, including Kunsthaus Zürich, the Centre for Contemporary Art in Kitakushu, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It has also been included in major international exhibitions, including the Venice Biennale (2007 and 2001), Documenta 12 (2007), and biennials in Sydney (2008), Istanbul (2005), Gwangju (2002), Havana (2001), and Lyon (2000), among others.
Reviews (3)
This book is absolutely charming and witty, but at the same time it's pretty deeply profound. I came across this book while staying with friends, and I could not stop flipping through the pages. The drawings and captions are so simple (even cute), but thought-provoking.

I own a copy of this book and have bought it as a gift for several friends who all loved it.
Wonderful. I heard something somewhere about "99 More Fears" and I hope that gets published. Great collection of drawings, nice to see in book form from an interesting artist from an interesting part of the world… This book always surprises and engages.
Here is a great work, seemingly modest in its format and presentation, yet on close inspection proves to be superbly drawn, cleverly constructed, and whimsically profound. There are none of the clumsy and tasteless balloons of the wretched graphic novels, but words and images stand here together on the page, just as we might hope for, a bit bewildered with each other, a little nervous, and well, fearful. Superior to Principles of Uncertainty, IMO, which it resembles. Superior to the wonderful and amazing Arrival by Shaun Tan, which seems impossible, yet is. Reminds me strongly of the much loved Saul Steinberg, with his own wry style. This is graphic art raised to Art; something apart. Highly Recommended.

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