Oleg Gochev (1954)

Олег Гочев

Oleg Gochev
Photo: personal archive

Oleg Gochev was born in 1954 in Sofia, Bulgaria. In 1982, he graduated from the mural painting program at the National Academy of Art in Sofia, then called the High institute for fine arts “Nikolai Pavlovich.” From 1981 to 1984, he taught drawing, painting, and composition at the National Academy of Arts “Iliya Petrov” and in 1983 began working in the Department of Mural Painting at the National Academy of Art. He became an associate professor in the department in 1995 and in 2002 was appointed as a full professor of mural painting.

Gochev has an extensive list of specialized trainings, which include those he underwent in Paris (1998 and 2001), Mexico (2001), Japan (2001), Kenya (2004), Hungary (2005), Spain (2007), India (2007), an Greece (2008).

Gochev’s artistic work encompasses canvas painting, drawing, mural painting, mosaic, and stained glasswork. He has created mobile mural painting innovations and participated in numerous, collective international mural projects. He has completed 40 monumental art installations, including works in Sofia at the Technical University, Ministry of Defense Building 2, New Bulgarian University, Medical Academy, and National Palace of Culture; at the Regional Hospital in Levski; at the Center for Art Education “Frida Kahlo” in Mexico; at the University of Bradford in Pennsylvania, USA; and in public spaces in San Francisco, California, USA.

He has delivered lectures and presentations on issues related to mural art in both Bulgaria and abroad. He has also held 22 solo exhibitions, 11 of which were in foreign countries, and participated in over 37 group international art exhibitions and forums in cities such as Toronto, Moscow, Pyongyang, Barcelona, Basel, London, Paris, Vienna, Bern, Belgrade, Zadar, and Mexico.

Gochev’s work has earned him many prestigious awards and honors. These include a Special Award and an honorary diploma from:

  • the Rector of the Technical University for his mural paintings there in 1983;
  • an honorary plaque and congratulatory address from Sang Ho Shin, Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts at Hong-Ik University, Seoul, in 2000;
  • a nomination for the Sofia Award for outstanding achievements in the field of culture – visual arts for the mural “Freedom, Love” in 2007;
  • an award from The Union of Bulgarian Artists for participation in the First Biennial of Church Arts in Veliko Tarnovo in 2009;
  • an award from the President of the University of Pittsburgh in Bradford, Dr. Livingston Alexander, for the mural “Man and Science” in 2011;
  • and the “Old Capital Charter for Contribution to Bulgarian Culture, Pedagogical, and Artistic Activity in Fine Arts” from the Mayor of Veliko Tarnovo on the occasion of the May Cultural Holidays in 2012.