Ivan Jakhnagiev was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1948. After studying at the Sofia Academy of Fine Arts, he began to exhibit extensively. In a career spanning forty years, his artwork has been shown at galleries and public venues all over Europe. An eclectic, creative artist endowed with a strong personality, he is regarded as one of the major painters on the Bulgarian contemporary arts scene. His style blends traditional painting with performances of great social impact.
In the 1990s, he was one of the first artists to pioneer body painting in Bulgaria. His primary focus is on the value and essence of colour, as well as on the lightness and complementarity of forms. He creates pictorial cycles that revolve around the central themes of his imaginative world, which are reflected in titles such as Erotica, Spring, Figures and Monasteries.
Among his most significant exhibitions was the retrospective organized by the Presidency of the Republic of Bulgaria at the exhibition hall of the Bulgarian Parliament (2004), and United Colours, together with his son, the painter and journalist Alexander Jakhnagiev, at the exhibition spaces of the European Parliament in Brussels (2017). Jakhnagiev lives and works in Rome and Sofia. His works are found in public and private collections across Europe.