Valery Poshtarov was born in Dobrich in 1986. The son of an artist and a poet, he grew up ever surrounded by artistic people. At the age of 8, his family settled in Varna. During summer breaks he worked in some of his father’s numerous art galleries along the northern Black Sea coast; during the school year, he mastered the fine art and painting techniques at the National High School of Arts in Varna.
In 2006 he moved to Paris where he graduated Plastic Arts from the Sorbonne. His talent was immediately appreciated and his professors encouraged him to finish the three-year bachelor degree in one single year. This period is related to his vivid interest in the classical French humanist photography genre from the mid-twentieth century. Exhibitions of works from that period were presented in Paris, Berlin, Frankfurt, Sofia and more. Meanwhile, the Bulgarian Cultural Institute in Paris nominated him for the Cartier-Bresson Award. Despite the nomination and despite the 35 consecutive exhibitions in various parts of Europe (spanning from 2007 to 2012), in the end, Valery went back to Bulgaria, choosing to shut himself out of the noise and vanity of the cocktail parties inevitably accompanying each exhibition. He fervidly photographed and painted across villages and monasteries: from the Rhodope Mountains to the Balkan Mountains; from the Kapinovo Monastery to the Zograf Monastery on Mount Athos. Rarely using his own car, he preferred to hitchhike his way through.
In 2011 he settled in Sofia and founded the first online art gallery in Eastern Europe. During the last few years, he’s been working tirelessly to promote contemporary Bulgarian artists. His frequent encounters with artists became the driving force behind a series of photographic portraits. In 2018 he undertook a significant 6-month trip around the Balkans and thus, some of his major works were created - “The Last Man Standing in the Rhodope Mountains” for which he had to visit no less than 560 villages to find his “Rhodope man”; and “Where the Mountains Flow Into the Black Sea” for which he had to travel whole 3000 km across the Pontic Mountains in northern Turkey.
In the same year he gathered a group of independent documentary photographers from all around the world and created one of the very first curated online galleries selling documentary photography prints.
The art of Valery Poshtarov is part of major collections of different official institutions around the world: Presidency of the Republic of France, the French embassy in Ireland, Bulgarian Cultural Centre in Paris, Evgenii Evtushenko Museum in Moscow and others.
Far from trivial, he fully and unashamedly takes on time itself, time which passes and destroys everything under its deadly and transient veil. On the contrary he wants to show the permanence of things, and more than the simple biographical portrait, people. This is Childhood beyond the child, Wisdom beyond philosophy, poverty beyond the beggar.
Pascale Courbot, French Artist and Gallerist
The event of the past 50 years! I have never seen reportage-style photography which comes so close to art photography, with individual little touches, an individual style;
Elena Filiptcheva, Bulgarian Photographer and Visual Artist
Humanism is not totally dead… His photos are the living proof.
Marc-Eliel, French Film Director
Valery Poshtarov is a lover of life, and he is quite right to be, as it goes quite right for him.
Laurent Terzieff, French Actor
Poshtarov has a very sensitive eye that penetrates through the heart of his subjects.
Emmanuel Santos, Australian Photographer
In order to look at it, to see it, to understand it, let us not open our eyes of reason, but simply take in the pleasure with the eyes of our soul.
Anne de Colbert Christophorov, French Artist