Galina Chehirian (Галина Делиева-Шехирян) is from Tryavna, Bulgaria. As a child Galina had a great desire to read. Maybe this is where she got the inertia, inspiration and conviction to transcend the psychological world of her surroundings. She made the decision to draw and was able to attend the Art high school in Kazanluk, Bulgaria. Later, Galina would enter the National Art Academy in Sofia along with Rafi Chehirian. Bulgarian arts institutions in the early 70’s were often unaccepting of modes of expression falling outside of the classical canon. Students had limited access to the works of Western modernity. When they did, it was through black & white reproductions. A general aesthetic conservatism, certain authorized emulations of modernism and Socialist realism were impressed upon those who concerned themselves with creative expression. Galina and Rafi’s thesis projects bewildered conservatives in the academy. The two did not trust that an expression could be meaningful if it did not transgress a boundary in life or imagination. I do not know if they would agree—this is just my impression. After Sofia, she and Rafi moved together to Tryavna. There they made a home and a world for themselves. Their seven years in Tryavna gave them long stretches of time for creative work. It is during this time that Galina’s sculpture came into being, and during this period that Rafi’s drawings found their way onto canvases. The photographs below represent sculptural work by Galina. I have included scans from the Bulgarian art journal Изкуство (“Art”). Some of these works are in museums in Bulgaria (National Art Gallery, City Art Gallery in Varna). Some were shown in their exhibition at the Rakovski Gallery, and others remain in the possession of the City of Tryavna.

Galina Chehirian