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The Ex Libris of Hristo Kerin

When I entered the beautiful world of ex libris I met many important artists, collectors and connoisseurs. I soon realized that ex libris design was a part of contemporary graphic art, with lots of peculiar requirements and challenges for the artists. The art of the bookplate is popular all over the world and a lovely way to exchange creative artistic ideas.

Hristo Kerin is a Bulgarian artist who began working in the graphic arts in 1995. Born in 1966 in Pazardjik, Bulgaria, he received his Master of Fine Arts in 1992 from the University of Veliko Tarnovo "St. Ciril and Methodius", Bulgaria. He is presently a Fine Arts faculty member teaching printmaking at the University of Veliko Tarnovo.

Kerin’s work in graphic arts includes miniature prints, ex libris and illustrations. He has been an active participant in scores of international graphic exhibitions since 1996 including Spain, Mexico, Poland and the United States. He has presented many one man exhibitions in Bulgaria and abroad.

Hristo Kerin became acquainted with marks of ownership during his high school arts studies in Plovdiv. At the University in Veliko Tarnovo he took his initial steps in small graphics and ex libris. Peter Lazarov is the well known bookplate artist who was Hristo’s mentor in school. Most of us know Lazarov’s exquisitely detailed wood engravings. Kerin has been inspired by and appreciates the works of many inteernationally famous artists, but some of his favorites include the works of Peter Lazarov, Julian Jordanov, Konstantin Kalinovich, Roman Sustov, to name but a few.

 Mynotaur & Labyrinth

In 2000, Kerin gave serious attention to the art of ex libris and created his first hand colored bookplate etching. With this he found his passion and he went on to create more. Luc van den Briele, editor of the Belgian journal Boekmerk wrote: With its intriguing content and professionalism this ex libris undoubtedly evokes in the careful observer a longing to see more of the work of this artist. Since 2000 Kerin has created more than 100 ex libris.

Hristo works with many subjects that collectors offer him, but has special interests in mythology, literature, history, fairy tales, nude and erotic themes. It does not come as a surprise that there is such an interest in his ex libris. The technical superiority and thoughtful, innovative composition is Kerin’s approach to his creations. So many collectors find this appealing when considering a commission.

In 2006 Hristo Kerin created a splendid ex libris for my interest in the Minotaur & the Labyrinth. Note the way he incorporates the maze into the complementary type style used for my name.

Ex Libris Chronicle
Director: James P. Keenan