OGO

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 his post Green Re-Leaf is admitted to IVth International Biennale at the Lahti Art Museum in Finland. His graphic works and posters (for film, theatre, and the environment) were distributed throughout Bulgaria.

In 1982, he was invited to be the Art Director for the film Sunny Feathers.

Mr. Oroschakoff was always open about his love for America and his desire to exhibit his paintings in the West. As a result of this open defiance of the Communist system, he was denied the right to travel outside of Bulgaria. Because each of his applications for a visa was refused, Mr. Oroschakoff was unable to exhibit his artworks abroad.

In November 1983, Mr. Oroschakoff crossed three borders to escape Bulgaria, arriving in San Francisco in 1984 with no English, and only five dollars. Mr. Oroschakoff has lived in San Francisco, London, Manhattan, Montclair, and San Diego. He became an American citizen in 1990.

Six months after arriving in the United States, Mr. Oroschakoff had his first exhibition in San Francisco and sold every painting. That success allowed him to devote himself full-time to his art. His paintings can be found in private collections in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Palm Springs, London, Paris, Cologne, and Sofia.

In addition to his painting, Mr. Oroschakoff has spent the last fifteen years writing fiction and in 2004 published his first novel, Epilogogod (Gutenberg Press, Sofia). He then personally translated that work into English, and in addition has recently published two more novels, Preview and Screamplay, which were written directly in English. His other published works include Very Green Elephant (The Writing Disorder – Best Fiction and Nonfiction of 2012), Shadowlessness (Stand Magazine, Vol. 12(2), 2014, University of Leeds, United Kingdom), Egyptian Cat on No Roof (Ah, Maria Anthology of One Unfinished Decade: Bulgarian Classicists from 1990-1999) and Cherry Tree in Trousers (Literary Newspaper, Sofia).

He is currently working on a new series of art works, a collection of short stories and his third novel.