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Nicola Blazev


Nicola Blazev was born in the Bulgarian town of Orehevo. By the time he was ten years old, he was sketching and painting constantly. Sixteen years old and still at school, he had his first one-man show at an art gallery in his hometown and sold every picture in the exhibition. Nicola Blazev took part in a national competition that won him a five-year scholarship in the Bulgarian Academy of Fine Arts, from which he later graduated with the highest honors.Until he was drafted into the army in World War II, Blazev remained in Sofia, portraying the citizens and the diplomatic community of the capital. With the end of the war came the end of artistic freedom in Bulgaria, which had become a Russian satellite. The State prescribed not only the subject of each painting, but its style, its exact dimensions, and the amount of time the artist was to spend on it. Blazev had to produce pictures os Stalin, Lenin, Marx, and Engels in an undending series. In 1948, he escaped across the Yugoslave border.In Yugoslavia, Blazev and other refugees from Stalinist regimes were welcome and relatively free at the time, because their presence in Yugoslavia demonstrated the superiority of Tito's communism over Stalin's. His successful artistic career there continued until the diplomatic rapprochement between Tito and Kruschev made it advisable for him to move to Italy in 1954. From Italy, Blazev came to the United States.Portrait commissions from prominent New Yorkers helped him to establish a reputation in the American soon after he arrived here in 1959. Portratis, Inc. invited him to join their roster of artists, and his partings have since then been exhibited at the Gallery in Fort Lauderdale, The Huber Gallery at Miami Beach, at Doll & Richards in Boston, the Caravel Gallery in New York City and the Mayfair Galleries in Scotia, New York.In 1965 he opened his own gallery in Rockport, where he now spends his summers portraying the countryside, the flowers he plants in his garden, and the visitors who come to see or buy his paintings. The rest of the year he lives and works in New York City.

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