Ivan Alifan

Region: Northeast

This series is an exploration of the modern gaze: ambiguous figurative paintings reveal and transform themselves within the individual’s view. These portraits are not an attempt to render physical characteristics, but to create a language of sexual subtexts. Ambiguity demands the viewer’s awareness and exploration of his or her own psyche.

A painting that exists as an alluring object and shifts into an eroticized realm disarms and naturalizes the modern gaze; it decriminalizes sex in art. Whether an individual sexualizes the figure, or becomes embarrassed and nervous at the mere suggestion, is something that occurs independently of the painting. The work breaks down barriers between the different modes in which the body can exist in social spheres and contemporary art.