Happy as Darry. Sofia, Bulgaria.

Christmas in Bulgaria is not a particularly colourful affair. The weather demands the bleak tones of overcoats and fur, and icy snow hides any spots of colour the post communist country may otherwise adorn. Consequently, stumbling across the intimate, jelly bean style Darry Gallery of Bulgarian artist Dragan Milev feels somewhat like a 1960’s acid trip.

Milev’s collection of abstract portraits, carved into novel sized planks of wood and finished in the most brilliant collection of pastels and primary, are clustered together on the gallery’s right wall. Another corner boasts what Milev explains to be a “bear head over shark teeth”. He playfully demonstrates its usability as a hat. An old door hangs from the ceiling and a collection of foreign instruments are scattered around casually.

If you’ve settled into the relaxing sight of Bulgarian price tags by the time you reach Darry, you may feel a little shocked by the levs he’s asking. But when perspective kicks in you’ll realise this is world class art – worthy and wonderful.

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