Russian-born artist Ivan Alifan explores the idea of the modern gaze in his ambiguous and evocative series of paintings. Driven by the culture of sex and erotic art the portraits break down the censorship of sexual allure and nudity, showing “the different modes in which the body can exist in social spheres and contemporary art”.
The artist covers his subjects in milky substances, obscuring the body beneath so as to “create a language of underlying sexual subtexts”. He explains how his paintings are aimed to cleverly test an individual’s perceptions, saying: “To have a painting that can exist as an alluring object and shift into an eroticised figure disarms and naturalises the modern gaze; decriminalising sex in art. Whether an individual sexualises the figure, or becomes embarrassed and nervous by the mere suggestion, this is all a process which occurs independently from the painting.” Follow Alifan on Instagram @ivanalifan.