Ognian Zekoff (b. 1964, Pleven, Bulgaria) is a renowned Montreal based artist known for his monochromatic oil paintings that traverse the boundaries between hyperrealism and surrealism. He carries on the strong tradition of European art schools by employing the techniques of charcoal drawing and oil painting on canvas, giving them a powerful new vision and place in contemporary art. Zekoff's ballerinas, hands, and nudes emerge in shades of grey within a black vacuum universe, simultaneously emphasizing their resemblance to reality while setting them apart from it. The illusion of light filtering through these spaces accentuates the subjects and infuses them with a touch of warmth, bringing forth their vitality and emotions through gesture.
Zekoff is a graduate of the National College of Fine Arts and the prestigious National Academy of Fine Arts, both located in Sofia. His first solo exhibition took place at the Grove Gallery in London, UK, in 1992. Following that, he resided in Sydney, Australia, until the end of 1993. In 2007, he relocated to Montreal, where he currently lives and works. His artwork can be found in significant private and public collections worldwide, including the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Sofia, the National Museum of China in Beijing, and the Cité des Arts Foundation in Paris, among others. Throughout the years, his work has gained international recognition and has been showcased in over 25 solo exhibitions across Europe, North America, and Asia. Zekoff has also received numerous international awards for his contributions to the art world. He has participated in various international art fairs, including Dubai (2006), Toronto (2007, 2008, 2010, 2014), and Miami (2022).