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.

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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beauty-demands-sacrifice

Seen this week

Categories DesignPosted on

Sculpture in the City, Art for Everyone

SEEN thoroughly enjoyed a preview of the 18 new artworks around the financial district’s square mile. Set up by The City of London in 2010, this excellent initiative expands its footprint every year, improving the area and proving that when people are happy, they work better.

Categories ArtPosted on

Alex Evans at the Foundry Gallery, Chelsea Quarter: LDF17

The astute reader will have noticed that SEEN loves art about London. There are many artists in this city who draw (pun intended) their inspiration from it, none more so than Alex Evans whose fractal renderings hint at the entropic nature of urban life and perhaps also our anxieties and isolation in the 21st century. His latest exhibition ‘Invisible Systems’ can be seen at the Foundry Gallery, tucked away off the King’s Road until 26th October.