A family venture
We love nature, wildlife, and art. We believe there are many people who share the same love and that made us start our business.
About the artist
Born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Daniel Guentchev is an assistant professor of philosophy at Bemidji State University, Bemidji, Minnesota. Beginning his formal education in drawing at the age of thirteen, Daniel earned a Bachelor of Fine Art from Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont. In addition he earned a Bachelor of Art in Philosophy.
After deciding to pursue his studies in Philosophy, he specialized in Philosophy of Art and earned his doctorate at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
In the meantime he started experimenting with etching and watercolour. His research in Philosophy of Art informs his artwork, and the experience of creating artwork in turn informs his work in Philosophy. Living in rural Northern Minnesota, Daniel finds himself fascinated with the variety of wildlife that inhabits the area and it has become a prominent subject along with studies of human form. Mother Nelly and sister Sonya share Daniel’s love for wildlife and decided it was time to show his work to the world. Where best than London where they are based?
About his work in his own words
“My studies in philosophy continue to be influenced by my former art education, but my drawing is also in turn influenced by my philosophical education. As I pursued my studies, it became apparent to me that the vast majority of the history of western thought focuses almost exclusively on human matters. Much of the emphasis of philosophical analysis is on providing clarity, taking apart, and becoming very familiar with the object of study. One of the unfortunate results of this tradition is that we strive to make the world all too familiar, devoid of a sense of mystery and wonder.
This observation led me to gravitate toward the work of phenomenologists and pragmatists of the twentieth centuries. These schools of philosophy attempt, among other things, to restore a sense of wonder and mystery, and to teach us how to live with it, rather than entirely eliminate it in the name of analytic clarity. Prior to my pursuit of a degree in philosophy, I had been trained in classical drawing. I fell in love with line work and cross-hatching. I learned much from studying the etchings of Rembrandt. As a child, I had always been fascinated by animals, particularly large mammals. My philosophical interests gave new direction to my fascinations.
Drawing animals allowed me to explore a part of the world that we are less familiar with. My goal is to portray even common animals in a way that allow us to look at them differently form the way we are accustomed. While a deer may be fairly familiar (and annoying) as a roadside threat for drivers, for example, I try to show that there is much more to them that we commonly overlook. Our world ceases to be so familiar and narrow if we are drawn outside of our habitual manners of viewing it and interacting with it. I have always been impressed with the lightness with which Rembrandt draws his compositions, his use of dark negative space, and his tendency to leave parts of the composition unfinished, while providing minute detail in other areas. I attempt, in my own ways, to put these elements to work. They allow the viewer to feel simultaneously close to the subject matter, and not entirely familiar to it. One’s imagination is invited to finish the unfinished areas, never quite giving the object completely and clearly. This simultaneous bringing closer and keeping at a distance, making familiar and upsetting our familiarity, is something I strive toward in my drawings.”