It requires a high level of visualization to make people smile, and that too, by adding just a pair of googly eyes to everyday objects we see outdoors. This trend, popularly known as ‘eyebombing’, was started in Scandinavia and is now being independently carried forward by Vanyu Krastev, a photographer, in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Krastev’s, ‘eye’ for ‘eyebombing’ doesn’t spare anything, the reason why he finds the most commonplace objects, such as trees, trash cans, lamp posts and even cement benches, as his canvas for ‘eyebombing’.It is really a wonder how such things take a character of their own, just by adding a pair of googly eyes.
The 42-year-old Krastev, who has been ‘eyebombing’ for two years now, has become a celebrity of sorts in Sofia. Since this city doesn’t boast of any architectural marvels, his form of art, that breathes life into inanimate objects, comes as a refreshing change. And Sofia doesn’t have any dearth of stone sculptures and objects that lend themselves to being ‘eyebombed’.
For Krastev finding beauty in inanimate objects is his rare ability. He locates the objects for ‘eyebombing’ by keeping an eye out for the most likely candidate. This requires an imaginative mind. For example, he may find a sewer cover with a crack that can pass off as an open mouth and place two googly eyes over the crack to give it a human expression.
Krastev is naturally drawn towards objects on which he can fix the googly eyes. Says he, “I bought a few of these plastic eyes and decided to try it in Sofia. I noticed no one had done it before (in Bulgaria) and I went from there.”
He found out that he had a natural flair for ‘eyebombing’ and soon this became a passion for him.
About how he mastered this art, he says, “The more eyes I stuck on things, the better I became. I got a sort of flair for it. Nowadays, I don’t even need to go for a specific ‘eyebombing’ hunt around Sofia. The little creatures just kind of pop out all around me.” Krastev adds that his best ‘eyebombing’ is on things that are “broken, ruptured, punctured, tangled, crumbling or twisted.” In a way, it is his attempt to humanize them in a positive way.
So, what is Krastev’s inspiration? According to him, two Danish master street artists, who champion urban aesthetic and describe it as an “effort to define and refine a largely neglected and overlooked part” of everyday life were the ones who inspire him. It is their street art that prompted him to make dull, drab and monotonous stone structures of the city into joyous and happy ‘faces’. This now gives the city of Sofia its distinctive look.
The aim of Krastev’s ‘eyebombing’ is to make ugly things aesthetic in a hilarious sort of way. Little wonder his creations are becoming a rage on the internet with most news websites giving them a wide coverage.