Categories ArtPosted on

The Subversive Art of Aida Emelyanova

SEEN recently had the great pleasure of talking to Kazahkstan-born artist and model Aida Emelyanova. Her work was featured in the Daily Mail and as Aida says herself, rather proved her point about how women’s bodies are negatively judged.

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SEEN recently had the great pleasure of talking to Kazahkstan-born artist and model Aida Emelyanova. Her work was featured in the Daily Mail and as Aida says herself, rather proved her point about how women’s bodies are negatively judged.

Aida Emelyanova
Aida Emelyanova.

Her work features her naked or partially clothed (often in lingerie) astride a skeleton, menaced by predators or locked into a cage. They are beautiful pictures, yet disturbing. The images seem, at first sight, to be aesthetically pleasing yet closer examination reveals something far more unsettling. Aida’s body is passive, or subjugated in the pictures. She is rendered as an object, no more capable of human feeling than the animals with whom she shares the space. Yet the viewer is invited to create their own narratives, finding the positive and negative connotations for themselves.

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PIC FROM Aida Emelyanova/Mercury Press (PICTURED: Aida Emelyanova, 30, an artist who overcame anorexia has developed a series of images to fight against the objectification of women.) An artist who overcame anorexia has posted naked for a series of provocative photographs to fight against the objectification of women. Kazakhstan-born artist Aida Emelyanova was told she was “too fat” by a Russian modelling agency as a teenager – sparking a five-year struggle with an eating disorder. In the 30-year-old’s series of 13 images, called ‘I Do Whatever You Animals Do’ she compares herself to a caged animal and a piece of meat. SEE

Aida operates in the same aesthetic sphere as David LaChapelle, who also creates richly disturbing tableaux that draw the eye, yet confound the viewer, making us aware of our own voyeuristic complicity. She also cites Tracey Emin as an influence. Both women use their own bodies to make a point about how they are viewed – and crucially – how they feel about being viewed. Aida referenced Cindy Sherman as another artist interested in the power of the transformative image, saying something new and powerful about female agency in a society obsessed with controlling how women feel by criticising how they look. Part of Aida’s remit in her work is the danger of anorexia, a condition she suffered from between the ages of 15 and 20. Her work depicts the woman as self-denying, not even allowed to enjoy food, striving to make herself sexually acceptable to the viewer, and by extension, society.

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PIC FROM Aida Emelyanova/Mercury Press (PICTURED: Aida Emelyanova, 30, an artist who overcame anorexia has developed a series of images to fight against the objectification of women.) An artist who overcame anorexia has posted naked for a series of provocative photographs to fight against the objectification of women. Kazakhstan-born artist Aida Emelyanova was told she was “too fat” by a Russian modelling agency as a teenager – sparking a five-year struggle with an eating disorder. In the 30-year-old’s series of 13 images, called ‘I Do Whatever You Animals Do’ she compares herself to a caged animal and a piece of meat. SEE

She has relocated to a new studio to concentrate on sculpture in 2016, and intends to create works that depict animal and human heads, hopefully continuing the fascinating narratives explored in her photographs.

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Seen this week

Categories Food&DrinkPosted on

The White Asparagus: SEEN Reviews

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Categories ArtPosted on

The Isokon Gallery and Walter Gropius

SEEN has been a long-time admirer of the work of architect, teacher and Isokon resident, the renowned architect Walter Gropius. Marking the 80th anniversary of Walter Gropius’s departure from England to America, The Isokon Gallery Trust presents a concise synopsis of the seminal architect’s life and work.

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Contemporaries: Art by Focus LDN

Tom Cox and Focus LDN have done it again with an exciting new exhibition, showcasing eight artists and their work in the Old Brompton Gallery from June 21st – 25th. Visitors to the gallery during the exhibition are promised live painting, collaborative works and other events to be announced.