Artist bio

Ivan Kanchev was born on September 17, 1973 in Ruse. In 2000 he has graduated in Ceramics at the National Academy of Arts in Sofia, and in 2006 in Psychology at the University of Ruse "Angel Kanche“. He defended his doctoral dissertation in art history and fine arts at the Department of Sculpture, and in 2010-11 he was a part-time lecturer in sculpture at the Department of Ceramics at the National Academy of Arts. Ivan has had dozens of solo exhibitions of his work, and participated in many group exhibitions in Bulgaria, and in prestigious ceramics forums in Italy, Spain, Japan, Poland, Denmark, France, Belgium, Switzerland, China, Austria, Germany, Portugal, Croatia, and others. He has won national and international awards. His works are in prestigious galleries and museums around the world. He is the author of curatorial projects and several books in the field of sculpture and ceramics.


Jacob's Struggle with the Angel



Artist Statement

I work on impulse… I see things ready in my mind as a photo - with details and colors.
I work mainly on biblical topics. I develop different cycles.

The triptych "Jacob's Struggle with the Angel" as part of the Night Visions project. Man, Where Art Thou is an object. Thus I seek universality on the basis of national traditions. I combine sculpture and utilitarian ceramics, through the structure of the panel and the mosaic technique as a painting and with pronounced graphic moments. I am developing the ancient Balkan black Thracian pottery as a painting.

Project “Man, where are you? “Night Visions”
The depicted scenes with clay and fire in "Man, where are you?" are nocturnal, as in a dream, as pictures visions. Thematically, they are derived from the heritage of universal human history and culture. The monumental vessel shape is symbolic. The rectangle is reminiscent of human existence, of boundary time, space and corporeality.
The message in the project "Man, where are you?" is: (1) a call to return to natural life, (2) a call to the essential in art, (3) a call to orient to the primary meaning of being, (4) a call to come out of spiritual death, (5) a call to self- realization through self-expression.

How it fits into contest

„I will not let thee go, except thou bless me“ (Genesis 32:26)

Jacob's Struggle with the Angel (a triptych like a huge tray) recreates an Old Testament biblical story - especially relevant to the establishment and development of God's people to this day. In the three huge rectangular trays from different points of view and in different time periods (similar to a renaissance mural) are presented three night scenes as in a dream. They are symbolic. In the first, the angel of the Covenant in a humble pose with a twig in his hand went to meet Jacob. The central court depicts the patriarch's struggle with the angel, who in his despair clung helplessly to the midnight guest, hoping for a blessing and deliverance from the danger of death. In the third vessel, as in a frieze, the scene from the first vessel is repeated.

Jacob's struggle with the angel is an important lesson for all Christians: how can we acquire God's armor? An example of how we become winners through selflessness and trusting faith. Only divine power and grace can give us the blessing our soul craves. When we are surrounded by dangers, and despair oppresses our souls, we must depend solely on the merits of redemption. We can't do anything about ourselves. In all our helplessness and unworthiness, we must trust in the merits of the crucified and risen Savior. Jacob's victory testifies to the power of persistent prayer, of unwavering faith. The greatest victories for the Church of Christ and in the life of every Christian are not won by skill and talent, but by intellect and education, by wealth or by the favor of men. These are victories won in one's "inner room" for meeting God, where faith clings to the mighty hand of the Force. But people who do not want to forsake every sin and earnestly seek God's blessing will not receive it. All who, like Jacob, cling to God's promises (God's armor) and are as serious and persistent as he is, will succeed as he wins. God will not reject any sinner who forsakes sin after true repentance. No one will die while doing this!


My family

How to Purchase this Artwork

With the help of a courier

Other Goods & Services Available from this Artist

I am a professional sculptor. You can see my work:;

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