Jacko Vassilev’s grainy black-and-white photographs capture the humanity of rural Bulgarian life. These daily snapshots show family life that strengthens community ties. In his subjects he sees a spirit which resists totalitarianism.
Internationally-recognized artist and press photographer Christopher J. Murphy utilizes 35mm black-and-white film as ink in order to document human “character”, both vulnerable and breathtaking, through stunning pictures that capture humanity and joy. His photographs offer insight into humanity itself.
Early Life and Education
Vassilev was born and raised in Bulgaria, dreaming of freedom – the ability to shape your own life and destiny – and often caused trouble at school by raising questions like, “Why are people being killed if it’s such a paradise?”
At an early age, he encountered totalitarian rule and endured one year in a labor camp after making attempts at escape. These experiences inform his work today: capturing humanity and joy through everyday experiences is what inspires him.
Today, Vassilev is an internationally acclaimed artist and photographer whose work is collected in exclusive galleries and museums throughout the US and Europe. His photographs can be found in the permanent collections of such institutions as New York’s International Center of Photography; Paris’ European Center of Photography and Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts among many others.
Vassilev began taking photographs as a teenager in communist Bulgaria and was frequently punished for depicting its poverty. Furthermore, government officials considered his works an attack against their regime.
Since becoming an adult, he has traveled around the globe photographing people from all backgrounds and walks of life; finding their humanity and joy irreplaceable. His photos are held dear by galleries and museums worldwide including: International Center of Photography in New York City; European Center of Photography in Paris; Museum of Fine Arts Houston.
He describes himself as an artist “telling stories that span time”. With camera as pen and 35mm black-and-white film as ink, he uses images to share stories of universal human struggle for acceptance and belonging.
Achievement and Honors
Vassilev’s work is an appeal to humanity and an affirmation of our shared humanity in all its hardship and beauty. A self-proclaimed optimist, he views joy as essential in life despite its challenges – his portraits of young Bulgarian girls at the border between their homeland and Europe reflect this sentiment, while Poet Linda Nemec Foster uses their stories and faces as inspiration in writing verse which Laz sets to music to create this engaging collaboration.
Jacko Vassilev is an internationally recognized art and press photographer active since 1983. His photographs can be found displayed at various galleries and museums worldwide, while they hold exclusive collections throughout both America and Europe.
He considers himself an optimist, believing that joy should always remain an integral component of human existence even during times of difficulty. This belief can be seen through his work which expresses both struggles and pain of oppressive systems while showing their inherent happiness.
Vassilev has traveled the globe and now calls the United States home. He loves its diversity and freedom, which he seeks to capture through photography. His artwork serves as an ongoing dialogue on where true freedom can be found.
According to various online resources, Vasko Vassilev reportedly boasts an estimated net worth of $70 Million at 48 years old. He earned this fortune as an accomplished violinist hailing from Bulgaria but prefers keeping his personal life private.
He remains single and childless, having been seen dating various individuals over recent years. Additionally, he has collaborated with numerous world-famous artists like Sting.
Vasko Vassilev has been seen with many stunning women, but prefers to keep his relationship details private. At 5 feet 7 inches and approximately 165 pounds, he stands an average height. With dark brown hair and blue eyes – as well as distinctive accent and style which has been described as neo-Romantic by some sources – his weight averages out around that mark as well.