89 days: Milena Ivanova

Today, I visited the National Art Gallery in Bulgaria, which is located in the former royal palace. The gallery houses an extensive collection of Bulgarian art, including a special exhibit featuring the contemporary works of local artist Milena Ivanova. Ivanova's art combines traditional Bulgarian motifs with modern abstract forms, creating a captivating and unique style. Milena, who is in her late thirties, shared her journey of exploring Bulgaria's rich cultural tapestry through her art. She spoke passionately about the importance of heritage and innovation, which sparked deep inspiration within me. Our conversation continued at a nearby café, where we exchanged stories over Bulgarian coffee. Her narratives added layers to the visual feast I had encountered. This unexpected meeting enriched my understanding of Bulgarian art and reminded me of the interconnectedness of our artistic pursuits, transcending geographical boundaries. Today was not just about sightseeing. It was about connecting, learning, and finding inspiration in unexpected places.

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