Art by Konst & Konstantina
When Ignat and Konstantina Konstantinov paint Jesus, he has no face.
“We try to make the face of Christ to just shine light. Nobody knows how the face looks anyway," said Ignat Konstantinov, who acts as spokesman because he is more comfortable with English than is his wife.
The couple are artists-in-residence at St. Margaret's School, an Episcopal Church boarding school for girls that overlooks the Rappahannock River. They have created a mixed-media Stations of the Cross series that interprets for modern viewers the story of Christ's passion.
The 14 large paintings hang in the living room of the Konstantinovs' campus apartment until they can find a proper home at a cathedral, shrine or seminary.
"All of our paintings are like our children," said Ignat, who goes by the nickname Konst. "We really care about where they are."
Born and educated in Bulgaria, they moved to Malta 13 years ago, then to the United States a little less than two years ago. They arrived in this country with very little in the way of material goods and little of the substantial body of art they created in Europe.
Their first year in Virginia was difficult. They lived in an isolated Northern Neck farmhouse and sold their work at craft shows to support themselves. They created the Stations of the Cross last year in fulfillment of a promise they made to God when Konstantina was gravely ill in Bulgaria.
During the past year, the artists have made a name for themselves locally with scenes painted on boat sails, commissioned portraits and a show that featured the Stations.
Both Konstantinovs hold master of fine arts degrees from Sofia Academy of Fine Arts in Bulgaria . He works in oils and mixed media in the abstract expressionist style, while she is a miniaturist. Since Konstantina's illness, however, they have collaborated on their work, including the Stations of the Cross, Konst said.
The 14 Stations are a symbolic walk through the last 24 hours of Jesus' life, said the Rev. Ann Reeder Riggs, chaplain at St. Margaret's. "Traditionally people stop at each Station and read the Scripture of what happened. They relive the trial, the whipping, the crown of thorns and the crucifixion."
The Konstantinovs' version of the Stations has muted colors that change as light hits them. We put a mixture that we have created on the canvas first. We put oil paint on top of that," Konst said. They also used driftwood on each.
The driftwood was his wife's idea, Konst said. “Me, I say no," he added. She put pieces on the floor" to illustrate how it would look. "She has to work a lot on my mind."
Three months of physical work went into the Stations because the artists did everything including making the frames. Each of the weathered-looking frames is slightly different, he said.
Creating the Stations took much longer, however. The Konstantinovs thought about the series for more than a year before starting. "The project has to stay in our minds for quite a time," Konst said.
The couple's main inspiration is nature.
"We are so excited about nature," Konst said. "God is the great artist. He's painting all the time. If you look around, everything is fantastic".
Contact the KonKons!
|DON'T MISS..... Upcoming Exhibition "Timeless Journey" at the Gumenick Family Gallery, The Cultural Art Center at Glen Allen, Richmond, Virginia runs October 17th through January 7th, 2006, featuring the best works of the Konkons 2001-2005. Download the Gallery Card [PDF 100 KB] for directions and times. Opening Reception: Sunday, October 23, 4 to 6 pm.|
Konst & Konstantina Konstantinov - Artists - Tappahannock, Virginia
All images on this web site Copyright©2006 K&K Konstantinov