Having been contacted for several years by young art historians and artists, Andrei Nakov went to Sofia in December 2005. There he gave a number of lectures on modern art, and especially concerning the creation of a museum of modern and contemporary art, for whose establishment he had been sought out. This first visit after several decades spent outside Bulgaria was followed in the spring of 2006 by two further trips, which led to a number of articles, and a film produced by Bulgarian television. At present the museum project is still trying to overcome socio-cultural and financial difficulties, but it is nevertheless in great demand by a minority of artists and art lovers who support the BOMI association. Recent contacts with the President of the Bulgarian parliament, who visited France, gave cause for hope of a positive future for this project. Andrei Nakov also paid a visit to Sofia in April 2002.BOMI-Декларация (PDF)
Press-release of the Bulgarian Society for Modern Art
BOMI is the first Bulgarian association for modern art. The society was founded in Sofia at the end of June 2006, with the goal of campaigning for the creation of a Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Bulgaria, country which, on 1 January 2007, will join as a full member the European Union. The association is headed by the noted French art critic of Bulgarian origin, Dr Andrei Nakov, who is a world-wide recognized specialist in 20th century art.
The first gathering of BOMI marked the date of inception of the society – 29 June. For this, the famous French culinary designer and artist-chef Marc Bretillot, creator of the Culinary Design program at the Ecole Supérieure d'Art et de Design, Reims, France, came to Sofia.
Marc Bretillot prepared an artlunch, called “EAT ART”. The event was intended as a provocation via the palate, its goal being to show the Bulgarian public that a museum of modern art is not a storehouse for lifeless artifacts, but a living, creative organism, as is food, and as was EAT ART. “Art is as necessary for life as is food and drink”, said the French Symbolist writer and art critic Stéphane Mallarmé. This affirmation of Mallarmé looked up at guests the meal through a button of gelatinised wine. The phrase was written on slips of transparent plastic, with the wine button sitting on top.
As a result of this creative event, Marc Bretillot was instantly featured on the popular television program “The Slavi Show”, and he as well as BOMI, received coverage from and gave interviews for news broadcasts and numerous national newspapers and magazines.
The Minister for European Development and Integration, Meglena Kuneva, supported the creation of BOMI with a fax sent to Dr Nakov.
Ensuing projects of BOMI envisage an indoor-outdoor presentation of contemporary sculpture that will span in several significant points in Sofia. For one month this exhibition will change the image of the Bulgarian capital, which, will be transformed into a European arts attraction.
An exposition of one of the first brothers-in-arms of surrealism, the Bulgarian Georges Papazoff is also in preparation. Papazoff's painterly career spun between 1920-1960 outside Bulgaria: in Western Europe and in the United States. A selection of his works will be shown in relationship to those of his contemporaries and co-thinkers – Juan Miro, Max Ernst, André Masson and other participants in the first surrealist events in Paris. The exhibition will also feature a few paintings by Jules Pascin, an European artist who was also born in Bulgaria and was a close Parisian friend of Papzoff .
All BOMI initiatives are part of a strong social campaign – the initiative to found in Bulgaria a Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. Sofia is in fact one of the last Balkan capitals in which there is no such museum. “It will benefit us to learn from the experiences of other countries, and hopefully avoid some mistakes,” said BOMI's head Andrei Nakov. “ It is important that Bulgaria alone chose the art for this museum. If the younger generation does not become involved, tomorrow Bulgaria will face some pre-fab McDonald's-type cultural substitute.”
The first members of BOMI include representatives from the film industry, gallery directors, leaders in the financial sector, young architects and artists, the media and advertising firms. Counted amongst Friends of BOMI are minister Meglena Kuneva, the Paris-based British designer Matthew Sindall, who created the logo of BOMI, Alain Mousseigne, director of the Museum of Modern Art – “Les Abbatoirs” in Toulouse, France and of course the culinary designer Marc Bretillot. Sofia's Deputy Mayor for Cultural Affaires, Ms Yordanka Fandukova met with the organizers of BOMI on the 30-th of June and declared that she will also help with exhibition space and social support the new association and its initiatives.