Iskren Semkov was born  in Oriahovo, a town in North-West Bulgaria,situated on the Danube river bank.He was drawn by the brush and paint during his adolescent years when he participated in local juvenile painting contests and exhibitions. Currently Iskren lives and works in Versoix, canton Geneva, Switzerland.

Iskren Semkov began painting as graffiti artist. His paintings represent personal stories based on memories and impressions, bent through the artist’s imagination and reproduced in delicate compositions with trompe l’oeil technique. His contemporary realism is influenced by the old masters’ technique mixed with ideas bearing the spirit of today. Iskren’s works are realistic, not in photo or hyper realistic, but in its own visionary way.

Working with oil paints, first he applies the base of the painting and gradually builds the details, multiple layers and velatures to achieve satisfactory result. This is one consistent process that requires patience and precision.

“The process of painting is, for me, an attempt to integrate elements that reside in my mind into a sort of visual poem. My appreciation of the great masters has inspired my technique. It is called “Trompe-l’њil”, which comes from French and means “trick the eye”,and is an art technique, involving realistic imagery in order to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects appear in three-dimensions, instead of actually being a two-dimensional painting. I try to remove the border between reality and illusion. I do not cease seeking and depicting the beauty, attracted by various art tendencies. I am impressed by the nature, objects that keep history or bring memories, or just things that are daily around us, but we neglect in our hectic lives…”


Solo exhibitions:

2014 La Cadrerie Burgener, Geneva, Switzerland “Trompe-l’œil Contemporain”

2013 La Cadrerie Burgener, Geneva, Switzerland “Impressions”

2012 Kulturpunkt Hardegg, Austria “Spirit of the Forest“

2011 Oracle Kunst Foyer, Vienna, Austria “Illusion oder Wirklichkeit”

2011 Kulturpunkt Hardegg, Austria “Sein oder Schein”

2010 Pironessa Gallery, Plovdiv, Bulgaria “Between two realities”

2010 Zeitvertrieb Gallery, Vienna, Austria “It all began with graffiti”

2009 Art Feia gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria “Here and Beyond”

2009 City art Gallery, Botevgrad, Bulgaria Paintings

2007 City art Gallery, Varna, Bulgaria “The sea in me”

2006 Napa’s Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria Etchings & Paintings


Selected duo and  group exhibitions:

2015 Bator Art Gallery,Szczyrk, Poland – “Magical Dreams III”

2015 NextDoor Gallery, Geneva, CH – “Barber Shop”

2015 NextDoor Gallery, Geneva, CH – “Mots Fleuris & Noms d’Oiseaux II”

2015 Galerie L’art Monie, Geneva,  CH – Duo Exhibition

2014 Clement Art Gallery, Troy NY, USA – Winter Salon

2014 Astry Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria – Annual exhibition “Format 30 х 30 cm”

2014 Galerie L’art Monie, Geneva,  CH – Group Exhibition

2014 Galerie du Vert Galant, Paris, France – Exhibition with Caludine de Montmollin

2014 Clement Art Gallery, Troy NY, USA – First annual watercolor exhibition

2014 Alexi Era Gallery, Saint Louis, USA – Group Exhibition

2013 Astry Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria – Annual exhibition “Format 30 х 30 cm”

2013 Fantasmus, Birkerød, Denmark “Love” – International exhibition of miniatures

2013 Art Revolution Taipei, Taiwan – International contemporary art fair

2012 Lesmeister Gallery, Regensburg, Germany “Natura Morta“ – 4 artists exhibition

2012 Monreux Art Gallery, 8 salon de l’art contemporain, Monreux, Switzerland – represented by Plexus Gallery

2012 Barockschloss Reigersburg, Austria “Imago” – Phantastic art exhibition

2012 Hilleroed Library, Hilleroed, Denmark “Freakshow “- 4th magic realism biennale

2012 Art Revolution Taipei, Taiwan – International contemporary art fair

2012 Galerie Josephine, Naarden – Vesting, Netherlands – Group Exhibition

2011 Sergio Caribé Gallery, São Paulo, Brazil – “1a Mostra de Artes Figueiredo”

2011 Astry Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria – Annual exhibition “Format 30 х 30 cm”

2010 Arhis Gallery, Varna, Bulgaria – “Con-tempo” – contemporary art weekend

2010 Gaya Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria – Duo exhibition – “About butterflies” – paintings and objects

2010 Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture, Vienna, Austria – Artist-in-Residence Program Exhibition

2009 City art gallery, Varna, Bulgaria – “The feather of the butterfly and stories about the sea” – duo exhibition

2009 1908 Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria – Summer trio exhibition

2009 Humor House, Gabrovo, Bulgaria – XIX Biennial of humor and satire

2009 X-Power Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan – Explore – trio exhibition

2008 Iliya Beshkov Gallery, Pleven, Bulgaria – Biennial of small formats

2008 Fof Gallery, Varna, Bulgaria – Exhibition “To the sea with love”

2008 Savchevi Gallery, Oriahovo, Bulgaria – Participation in the international plain air “Marin Varbanov”

2008 Shipka 6, exhibition hall of UBA, Sofia, Bulgaria, – “Near Distance” – exhibition of the Union of Bulgarian Artists

2008 Astry Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria – Trio exhibition “Modeling of emptiness”

2007 Lamia, Greece – Belle Arte Lamia exhibition

2006 Savchevi Gallery, Oriahovo, Bulgaria – Participation in the international plain air “Marin Varbanov”

2005 Youth culture home, Sofia, Bulgaria – Exhibition of Vivat academy – week of the student art



Imaginaire VII – Contemporary Magic Realism book

Imaginaire VI – Contemporary Magic Realism book

Imaginaire V – Contemporary Magic Realism book

Imaginaire IV – Contemporary Magic Realism book

Exeptional eye tricks – Book with collection of Optical Illusions

Art Revolution Taipei – Catalogue from  the exhibition

1a Mostra de Artes Figueiredo – Catalogue from  the exhibition

Biennial of small formats – Catalogue from the exhibition

Biennial of humor and satire XVIII, XIX – Catalogue from the exhibition