Europe 1960s - Cold War (2014)
Archival print, hand gilded with 23-karat shell gold and silver
61 x 83.7 cm
Edition of 30. £1,200
Courtesy of the artist and TAG Fine Arts
Obtaining dual nationality in 2010, artist Yanko Tihov was surprised at the similarity of the British passport to his Bulgarian one; on further investigation, it transpired the colour is a European Union regulation and all member states (except Croatia) issue passports in burgundy. Post-Brexit, Tihov suspects the British passport will revert to blue - its colour in nine previous iterations.
On completing a passport map artwork entitled ‘Contemporary Europe’, Tihov decided to match the same geographical area with passport covers from the Cold War period. Although originally intended as a visualisation of the various historic passport colours, the work serves as a reminder of the different unions formed and destroyed throughout Europe during the last 50 years: the division and reformation of Germany, the union and separation of Soviet Russia, the creation and collapse of Yugoslavia. This work - and many others in Tihov’s oeuvre - illustrate how quickly borders change and move and how people from different cultures appear and disappear.
Yanko Tihov’s work will be on display at the London Art Fair in January 2017
For further information, see yankotihov.co.uk and tagfinearts.com
Hedge, issue 44, December 2016, pp84-90