Mr. Oroschakoff was born in Sofia, Bulgaria in 1952. His father was also an artist; his mother was an orthopaedic surgeon. Before the Communist revolution in 1944, his grandfather, Haralampi Oroschakoff, was the mayor of Sofia and one of the heads of the Democratic Party. His other grandfather, Vassil Balarev, was a general in the Royal Army. Both of Mr. Oroschakoff’s grandfathers were imprisoned by the Communists.

Surrounded by his father’s paintings, Mr. Oroschakoff began painting at an early age. In 1968, he was expelled from all schools in Bulgaria for supporting the anti-Communist elements in Czechoslovakia during the Prague Spring Revolution. In 1969, he was allowed to return and completed his high school education, graduating in 1971. In October 1971, he was drafted into the Third Bulgarian Army contingent of the Warsaw Pact. In February 1972, he was transferred to the Labor Forces contingent because of his family’s anti-Communistic background. While compelled to perform hard labor duties he was, in his own words, “in the truly educational environment and inimitable company of criminals and crossed-outs.” He was dismissed from compulsory military service in October 1973 and then worked until 1975 as a stagehand at the Theatre Sofia. In 1975, Mr. Oroschakoff was admitted to the Academy of Fine Arts – Nikolai Pavlovich – in Sofia. During the intensive six-and-a-half year formal curriculum, in 1978 he won Second Prize in the Habitat Poster Competition Biennale in Sofia. The First Prize was not awarded, and the Third Prize was given to his assistant professor. “Unofficially”, he is warned not to make any further attempts to enter national or international art competitions. In spite of that warning, in 1981…

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