Valko Chobanov ︎︎︎
Niche Market

*visit physical space by appointment only
        Valko Chobanov is a visual artist and independent curator. He has been part of solo and group exhibitions in Bulgaria and abroad. Winner of BAZA award 2019; among the initiators and organizers of the annual group exhibition “Onomatopoeia”. “Art is fun for me. Most of what I do is a combination of messages and is a commentary on the social and institutional reality I have to work with. My main inspiration for creating art comes – as paradoxical as it sounds – from nature and the internet, at the same time. My motivation to continue doing contemporary art is due to my great desire to change the way people in Bulgaria look at it.” “Valko Chobanov does not have guidelines in his work that are consistent neither as a subject nor as a technique."
photo credit: Rene Georgieva
In the current climate of a global financial recession (I don't claim I know economics, the statement is feeling-based) combined with my creative recession from original ideas, I invite you to spend some time and money with me. There will be "art" available for purchase every hour on the hour from noon till dusk at an online auction.

In the mood for renovations, arts and crafts, and inspired by the immense amount of youtube videos I consume before I go to bed. I invite you on a journey into the imagination.

I want you to relax, take a deep breath, and envisage you are in your mind palace.

Every room in your palace has a specific purpose.

The bathroom is the place for self-care.

You have always wanted a plant in your bathroom unfortunately there is no natural light inside. Perhaps you can demolish the wall and make space for a new window. You will need a bath bomb. Several candles for ambiance. And a noise machine emulating the sound of ocean waves crashing on a virgin beach. Come to think of it, some plastic plants will do.

Your living room is your conspiracy theory room. A place for radical revelations.

To create a proper conspiracy theory you need a laserjet printer to print out pictures you find on the internet. The pictures will act as a piece of visual evidence confirming your suspicions. Add some yellow sticky notes scribbled with a sharpie. Some red yarn and thumbtacks act as vectors revealing the hidden connections. Adding logic to a system. If your home has drywall, you can stick the thumbtacks directly to the wall; if you don't you will need a big corkboard. Oh… I almost forgot the cutouts from the newspapers.

Of course, the kitchen is the place you do the cooking.

In your kitchen, there is a drawer that has scissors that will be perfect for cutting out newspaper scraps. They never feel lonely there because they are forever in a pair. On the countertop sits the trusty blender that you use for making paper pulp from the excess newspaper. The paper pulp you use for making small paper mache objects. One of the objects you made in the past now acts as a decoration for your kitchen windowsill. It is a small bust depicting a famous singer that you can't recall the name of at the moment.
There is your bedroom, the place you do your literal and metaphorical dreaming.

A clean pair of sheets. Lately, you have been using fabric softener that contains some citrus aromatic oils (lemon and grapefruit to be exact). You watched a video that informed you about cats and the fact that they are not particularly fond of the smell of lemon. And lately, you are tired of using lint rollers on your favorite black shirt that you use as a pajama. The shirt is black because it is merchandise from that one time you went to that concert of your favorite band.

The foyer is the place you enter your mind palace. The space you leave the outside world and take off your shoes.

It is of no importance that this is the smallest room in your mind palace. In the spirit of renovations, no place will be left unchanged. You will need to install shelves that can hold your plants at a safe distance that cats can't get their destructive paws on. Denying them a twisted version of entertainment, clawing at the succulents. Maybe even paint your window frame with bright green spray paint. Next to the window you will place your modest selection of aloe vera plants or are they agave plants? You are not sure about the difference, google lens either. You customize your flower pots with air-drying clay to make them look like they are covered in rock mosaic. On top, you write inspirational words, words of encouragement that will greet you every day on your way out or in depending on your perspective.







You are not convinced that the collections of porcelain dogs you inherited from a distant relative will feel at home on the shelves. But it is worth a try, and if one day you feel like they don't belong you will banish them to the dusty cardboard box under your bed. And as you leave your mind palace, remember to water the plants.

text: Valko Chobanov