Houben RT (Bulgarian, born 1970)
Houben Tcherkelov, known as Houben R.T., is a Bulgarian born avant-garde artist, who explores the symbolic links between government produced images and national power and identity. Houben received his degree in painting at the Conservative Art Academy in Sofia and was associated with the Radical art movement around XXL Gallery. In his early work, he explored post-communist Bulgarian life through photography, film, and installations. Inspired by his native Soviet Regime’s and the United State’s use of imagery to foster a national identity, he creates paintings using images derived from various currencies. Interested in exploring how these images function out of their government issued context, he isolates or repositions the images and renders them in a lyrical, colorful, and highly textured manner.