Sabbi Gavrailov is a self-thought artist from Bulgaria. He originates from the town of Brezovo which is also the birthplace of two iconic Bulgarian artists: Zlatyu Boyadzhiev, who died in 1976 and is known for his portraits and landscapes depicting the village life in the region, as well as Mincho Katsarov, an artist celebrated in France but virtually unknown in his home country.
Sabbi relates to Zlatyu Boyadziev through his great grandfather who was Zlatyu’s close cousin. He strongly believes the talent comes from the routes of the family. There are striking similarities found between the landscape painting style of Sabbi Gavrailov and Zlatyu Boyadzhiev.In his early days, Sabbi also took lessons in the atelier of another famous contemporary Artist from the Plovdiv region Geno Lazarov.
Sabbi graduates from the Vocational School of Architecture and Geodesy in Plovdiv, Bulgaria in 1996. In 2003 he settles in the UK and acquires a Professional Diploma in Digital Photography from IOP London in 2005.
“My college years gave me a different perspective on art while I studied architecture. Then I got drawn to digital photography very quickly and I felt the need to educate myself further to get the most out of it”
“I got my diploma in digital photography and this opened a different world, through the lens. Now inevitably the painting and photography for me go hand in hand”
A fascination with digital photography over the past decade has helped to encourage his love of travel photography as well as his favourite subject Portraiture. Despite always wanting to become an artist one day, the opportunity had never really presented itself.
Recent events of his father’s death back home in Bulgaria seemed to unleash a creative outpouring of emotion.
“As if my mind was reprogrammed overnight, it is unexplainable, I might have produced about 50 paintings in the past year alone” he admits with a smile.
He now receives commissions for classic portraits as well as eye-catching landscapes, using single strokes of a palette knife with feeling and precision.
“I see no sign of stopping, quite the opposite"
Spurred on by his friends’ enthusiasm for his work, he has become an active member of Herts Visual Arts, where he now has a gallery and exhibits regularly and take an active part in the Art community.
“I constantly experiment with different styles of painting and push myself to learn new techniques. I love to paint portraits, seascapes and landscapes. I feel the power of nature and human expression around me: it is the greatest inspiration one can find and I express it through my paintings.”