• As a keepsake for my colleague. We lived together in Brno, the Czech Republic, in 1930. Only the portrait will evoke the memory. Keep it in memory of the good old days. Your friend, M. Karafizov, Karlovo.
  • I give you this face portrait to keep as a keepsake, my unforgettable and distant friend Ioli. From Emiliya. 28.02.1936, Petrich
  • As a keepsake for the one I love with all my heart. From Anna, 16.07.1940, Svishtov
  • As a keepsake for my good friend anarchist, nicknamed Shurata. From his brother-in-law, Georgi, 15.04.1946, Radomir. Your brother-in-law.
  • Bore, I give you my face portrait, for a moment and an everlasting memory. From Pepi. 02.07.1950
  • Lyube, let my portrait be always before your eyes and never forget me. From Stefcho, 03.06.1950
  • Borya, let this portrait remind you of your unforgettable friend the skydiver Ivan from the village of Malko Tarnovo, Chirpan. 28.03.1951
  • For Dochka’s happy future life. From Ivan. 10.04.1954, Sofia
  • Let this soulless paper always remind you of me. As a keepsake for Stoyanka from her cousin Roza. 24.02.1959, Ihtiman
  • “Money is spent, letters are torn but love remains until the end.” As a keepsake for my friend Savcho from Petar. 18.03.1962
  • This face probably doesn’t attract you but it loves you very much. To Slavcho from Rumi. 09.02.1965
  • If the shade of oblivion erases me from your mind, let my face tell you who I was. As a keepsake for Krasito from Emil. 12.04.1966
  • To my great companion and friend Milorov. From Slavov
  • Everything withers and fades away now – youth, beauty – only a photo remains an eternal memory in the world. As a keepsake for Krasimir from the classmate Tolba. Sofia, 16.04.1969
  • Keep the copy until you respect the original. As a keepsake for Krasi from his friend Bozhidar. 13.11.1970, Sofia
  • If it covers with dust, don’t wipe it away. Then you know that oblivion has come. As a keepsake for Hristo from Krasimir. 15.09.1971
  • To dotty Chui with lots of love! Pepe, Sofia, 09.01.1985
  • Dear Didi, please remember that man is a huge universe of problems, contradictions and riddles. But every person is weak in some respects. With love, Lili. 15.11.1985
  • And still something should remain even if it be only ashes because all strong and big things leave a trace. With lots of love for Didi from Vasya. 13.11.1985
  • To Didi with lots of love and two wishes: 1. May she finish the conservatory; 2. May happiness follow her to her entire life. 09.07.1986
  • Love only one soul and love only one heart. Don’t give love in other people’s hands. Philip, 30.02.
  • For then when “now” will be “in the past”! For Rossi with respect. 18.01.1989, Sofia
  • To Stefka so that she will never forget me. Sofia, 01.01.1991
Tihomir Stoyanov / Imaginary Archive

I Give You My Face Portrait Project takes us back to a fortten tradition of giving each other photos with messages. In today’s digital world, these precious memories that people used to keep in their wallets prove unnecessary. This project includes 24 portraits which Tihomir Stoyanov selected among hundreds of similar photos found at the flea market. These photos taken between 1930 and 1991, proof not only of moral values and the socio-historical context, but also of aesthetical changes in portrait photography.

Tihomir Stoyanov was born in 1978 in Sofia. He graduates in Photography from the Technical University. In 2015, he established Imaginary Archive, a Bulgarian archive of found photography, which includes more than 10,000 negatives and slides. In 2017, he was selected for “Bring Your Own Paper” at the Les Rencontres d'Arles Festival in France.