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Blood Becomes Water is a Bulgarian art trio active between Sofia and Brussels, founded around friendship and passion for the subcultures in art and music.

The collective works in the field of emerging contemporary art and illustration, graphic design and independent limited editions. Their signature self-titled publishing project has been challenging the local and international artist and zine communities, by generating & collecting artwork around various themes.

Twelve years later BBW’s first publication – “The Bulgarian Issue” presenting work by a bunch of friends from the local and rather small at the time “art scene”, transforms from a sloppy experiment to an actual artifact. Since then, BBW’s creative initiatives have influenced other zine-related and DIY projects in Bulgaria.

In 2015, Blood Becomes Water have received the Crystal Ruth Bell residency award to develop a publication exploring tetra phobia in China. Subsequently, the collective started concentrating on solo projects and developing their own style. The graphic vocabulary is loud and fun – from deformed rough characters, associating subcultures and surreal naive creatures to handmade typography – Blood Becomes Water is not afraid of experimenting with different techniques such as print, mural paint or textile to surprise the viewer. Having collaborated with various bands for the creation of posters, merchandise and the organization of concerts – music has been an inseparable part and source of inspiration for the artworks of the collective.

Over the past years, the Blood Becomes Water have participated in numerous art book fairs including Libros Mutantes in Madrid, Sprint: Independent Publishers Fair in Milan, Volumes Independent Art Publishing Fair in Zurich, Wiels Art Book Fair in Brussels, Zine Pages Fest in Seoul, ZINE*FAIR: Independend Publishers & Artzine Fair in Wien, FANZINES! Festival in Paris, I’ve Zine The Darkness in Halle.

Blood Becomes Water editions have been consistently collected by Guillaume Dappen Gallery in Basel and recently became part of the MK&G Hamburg Museum’s archive.

Selected exhibitions & fairs

2021 - Present

The F*word – Guerrilla Girls and Feminist Graphic Design, MK&G, Hamburg/DE
BBW Open Studio, Æther Gallery, Sofia/BG

MIMESIS, One Book Bookstore, Sofia/BG
ArtVerona, PAGES section curated by Ginevra Bria, Verona/IT
BBW POP-UP, Babu bar & Kjosk, Vienna/AU
Tirazh: A collection of independent art books, KO-OP, Sofia/BG
FIG. 2 | My Head is a Photodump, KO-OP, Sofia/BG

The Sticker Show, Grafik, Brussels/BE
Full Custom Jacket, La Boucherie Moderne, Brussels/BE
Print With Me, Little Bird Place, Sofia/BG
BBW Solo Show, Sterput Gallery – Distro Space, Brussels/BE


BBW: Decade Dance, Intro Gallery, Sofia/BG
Paños – Art carcéral chicano, Sterput, Brussels/BE
Illustration Pop-Up Vol. 3, KO-OP, Sofia/BG

Illustration Pop-Up Vol. 2, KO-OP, Sofia/BG
U SEE street art festival, SeeU, Brussels/BE

Libros Mutantes, La Casa Encendida, Madrid/ESP

Faction Zine Launch Party, Gaba bar, Sofia/BG
Sprint: Independent Publishers Fair – curated by Dafne Boggeri, Spazio O’, Milan/IT

Pop Up Zine Show, Zango Studio, Tbilisi/GE
Artist’s Book Exhibition, Tbilisi Book Days, Tbilisi/GE
E² Fest: Chairs fraîches, Abattoir d’Anderlecht, Brussels/BE
FanzineIST Festival, Istanbul/TR
Salon Central VaPeur, Strasbourg/FR

Sprint: Independent Publishers Fair – curated by Dafne Boggeri, Spazio O’, Milan/IT
Volumes Independent Art Publishing Fair, Zurich/CH
Hip Hip Zine Fair, Sofia University, Sofia/BG
WIELS Art Book Fair, WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels/BE
Libros Mutantes, La Casa Encendida, Madrid/ESP
Zine Happening, Buurtcentrum, Ghent/BE
COUP DE COEUR#, Guillaume Dappen Gallery, Basel/CH

BBW#9: Tattoos on animals and Alien Mustangs live, Fridge & Haspel, Sofia/BG
Sprint: Independent Publishers Fair – curated by Dafne Boggeri, Spazio O’, Milan/IT
Moon Voyage 36, group exhibition curated by Snejanka Mihailova and Voin de
Voin – Fridge & Haspel, Sofia/BG
BBW Italian Summer mini tour – Gelati Fanzine Festival, Genova; Boss Gallery, La Spezia; Crack Fumetti Dirompenti X, Rome/IT
Zines of The Zone Event #17 – Ogms gallery, Sofia/BG

Vse, co umim, je umeni – curated by Vera Mlechevska, Ceske Centrum Praha,
Sprint: Independent Publishers Fair – curated by Dafne Boggeri, Spazio O’, Milan/IT
The Revival – Hectoliter, Brussels/BE
The Revival Pavillion – Sofia/BG
One Night Show: Catastrophe in Sofia, Sofia/BG

Full Moon Saloon #12: Edizioni Straordinarie – curated by Dafne Boggeri, Spazio
O’, Milan/IT
Zine Pages Fest – Seoul/KR
Micro: indipendent publishing festival – Superground, Milan/IT
ZINE*FAIR: 3rd Independend Publishers & Artzine Fair – Kunsthalle Wien/AT
Sinestezija Festival: EXOTICA – Herceg Novi/ME
Pizza, Pronto! – Sofia Design Week, Hip Hip Atelier, Sofia/BG
Underground Performing Art Festival – curated by Yovo Panchev, Sofia/BG
International Drawing Project – curated by Craig Atkinson, PR1 Gallery, Preston/UK

The Bulgarian Pavilion Exhibition – curated by Svetlana Kuyumdzhieva, Credo
Bonum, Sofia/BG
FANZINES!Festival – Mediatheque Marguerite Duras, Paris/FR
Hip Hip Library: opening – Hip Hip Atelier, Sofia/BG
One Day Independent Publishers and Fanzines Fair – curated by Rita Vitorelli and
Catherine Hug, Kunsthalle Wien/AT
Sinestezija Festival – Multi-location Contemporary Art Platform & Work-in-progress
Exhibition, Herceg Novi/ME
I’ve Zine The Darkness – Dieschonnenstadt Gallery, Halle/DE
Hidden Exhibition – curated by Yovo Panchev, Otezt Paisi Festival, Plovdiv/BG

Workshops & talks

Tirazh: Book Talks and webiste lauch, KO-OP, Sofia/BG
FIG. 1 | Zine Making | Blood Becomes Water, BELKA studio, Sofia/BG
Junkyard Funkayard – Bricolage Lab, Kulturforum, Belgrade/SRB
Riso Print Zine – Hip Hip Library & Sofia University, Sofia/BG
Sofia Contemporary festival, curated by Ovul Durmusoglu, ICA, Sofia/BG
BBW x Artnewscafe at Night of Museums and Galleries, Plovdiv/BG

Art residencies & awards

2nd Crystal Ruth Bell Residency winner, Red Gate Gallery, Beijing/CN

BBW gigs

Blood Becomes Water has organized various concert events and band tours in Bulgaria. Among the bands we have collaborated with are Bazooka (GR), Jack Oblivian & The Sheiks (US), Nomos 751 (GR), Nestter Donuts (ES), Tigers In Furs (IT), Tommy and the Commies (CA), Demon’s Claws (CA), The Shivas (US), The Black Needles (BR), Dragster (BE), Ken Strigfellow (US), Tonstartssbandht (CA), Proto Idiot (UK), Bad Decisions (RO), Alien Mustangs (GR), Daily Noise Club (BG), Spalni Mesta (BG), OOHS! (BG), Dead Man’s Hat (BG), Comasummer (BG), The Black Swells (BG).

The BBW crew

Raya Boteva

Originally from Sofia, Raya studied art in Italy and graphic design in Belgium, while experimenting with 3D stereoscopy. She specializes in artistic direction & visual communication and brings a diverse set of skills to the team including print, digital, exhibition design and animation. During the past 10 years, Raya has contributed visually and conceptually to the development of many projects, but one of her highlights is the layout of a 256 pages book on art in Iceland.

Rosie Eisor

Bulgarian-born artist Rosie graduated in set design, visual arts and curatorial studies in Italy. Following her interest in various printing techniques, limited editions and the love for photography and music, she specialized in typography in Brussels. Rosie has always experimented with new media to develop projects and recently started tufting and ceramics, which brought her to design festivals and exhibitions, as well as a residency at the renowned creative incubator ViaFarini.

Robin Renard

Robin studied graphic arts in Tournai, being motivated by his passion for typography and developing fun illustrations inspired by true stories and communities. His work and authentic style have represented numerous bands, their acts and releases, as well as different campaigns, editions and brands. Some of his key projects include “Renolution” by Brussels Environment, “Food Waste” by the Scottish Government and “De BXL, La Fierte” by Union Saint-Gilloise.