Bulgarian photographer, Jacko Vassilev, is famous for his politically charged and revealing portraits of his fellow countrymen. He began creating these important works in 1972, when the country was still under communist rule. Vassilev’s work was frowned upon by government officials of the time for they felt that his depiction of the country’s poverty shined a negative light on communism. His studio was even raided at one point. He was not able to receive a diploma in photography until 1990. He then went on to work for the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture as Art Photographer.
Vassilev captures the subjects of his photographs with a sense of love and respect. He has a profound appreciation for the history of his country and the struggles that his people have endured. “I really want to preserve all we have in Bulgaria…At least (these photographs are) something that will remain for future generations.”
Vassilev prints his own photographs in small editions. They are processed in limited edition silver gelatin prints on authentic Bulgarian Fohar paper. His work has been exhibited across the United States and Europe. His has exhibited with Cartier-Bresson in Toulouse, France and Contre-jour has published a monograph of his pictures. He has received numerous awards for his artistry.