Animator brings raw humanity to life

Emmy-nominated storyboard artist Broni Likomanov shares his original paintings, sculptures at Arts Visalia exhibit

The Sun-Gazette

VISALIA – There are many sides to the art of Broni Likomanov. The more public face of his art has regaled children for decades but his fine art and sculptures are largely enjoyed in private collections throughout the world.

Likomanov was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, where he studied art design at Apply Art High School and took his bachelor’s degree in animation film making from the National Academy of Theatre and Film Art. Two decades ago, the animator made his way to California where he found work in the world’s top animation studios such as Disney, Universal, Nickelodeon, Klasky Csupo, and Loonland. His work as a storyboard artist received two Emmy nominations, one for Nickelodeon’s Rugrats in 2004 and Disney’s Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in 2017.

Broni currently lives with his wife and children in Studio City, Calif. where he continues to work on his original art. His paintings and sculptures are in private collections across the country, as well as the Netherlands, Belgium, Hungary, Canada and Bulgaria. Some of his sculptures are also exhibited in Silvana Gallery in Glendale, Calif.

Locals will get a peak into those private collections this month as Likomanov’s original artwork will be exhibited at Arts Visalia Feb. 5 through Feb. 29. Likomanov says the primary interest in his paintings and sculptures is the human. His artwork intentionally strips his subjects from any particular time or place. Removing the background and isolating the subject allows Likomanov to explore the raw, universal human emotions with simple gestures, poses, and facial expressions. The characters in his artwork are “torn” by emotions of loneliness, fatigue, love, desire and lust. 

“I’m not interested in telling stories of great importance,” Likomanov said. “My goal is to for the viewer to complete the captured moments in time, the scattered pieces and glimpses of emotions, and to unfold their own stories.”

An opening reception will be held during the First Friday art event from 6 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 7. There will also be an artist talk at Arts Visalia on Saturday, Feb. 8. The exhibition is sponsored in part by Jack & Charlie’s, Vintage Press Restaurante and the Southern Pacific Depot Restaurant.

Arts Visalia’s Visual Art Center is located at 214 E. Oak Ave. in Visalia. For more information, contact gallery assistant Ashley Vazquez at 559-739-0905 or [email protected]. 

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