Kosta Tonev (b. 1980, Bulgaria) is a visual artist based in Vienna, Austria. He holds a Bachelor's degree from the National Academy of Arts in Sofia and a Master's degree from the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Departing from his foundational training in painting, Tonev embraces a wide range of artistic practices, including performative and text-based approaches, utilizing mediums such as photography, video, installation and sound. Closely connected to the field of artistic research, Tonev's fascination with language and storytelling is a cornerstone of his practice. He constructs intricate narratives involving a multitude of references to the realms of music, film, intellectual discourse and popular culture. Drawing from personal experiences or embodying alternate personas, he addresses issues surrounding history and politics in a light-hearted and humorous way. In this way, the artist reveals a multi-faceted history of the present, conveyed through a captivating first-person perspective.
Tonev’s recent solo projects include the exhibition “Tales from the Dustbin of History” at Bildraum 01 in Vienna (2023) and the web-based work “Late Night in Sorrento” (2020) hosted by Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart and ZKM | Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe. Amongst others, he has participated in “Making Worlds: An Imagineering Project” at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei (2023), "Red Vienna" at the Vienna Museum in Vienna (2019), “So Far, So Right: A Study of Reforms and Transitions Across Borders” at the Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts in Taipei (2018), “I and the Others: Collection on Display VI” at Museum der Moderne Salzburg in Salzburg (2014) and “Why Duchamp? From object to museum and back (125 years)” at the Museum for Contemporary Art in Sofia (2012). Download full CV here.