Katerina Belkina is an international award-winning visual artist born and raised in Samara, on the Volga River in Russia. Her mother was an artist and her father a mathematician and art connoisseur. So, already in her childhood she was surrounded by art. Later she received an art education focused on painting. In her work, Belkina digitally manipulates her photographs to appear as paintings. She also sometimes paints directly on her photographs. Belkina uses herself as the main character in her work, reminiscent of Cindy Sherman. But while Sherman turns the camera on herself in a game of extended role playing of fashion and glamor, Belkina focuses on herself as a way to put the viewer between her as model and her as creator. This is also for Belkina a way to create a discussion between the artist and her muse. The fact that she herself is the model makes the process of creation a bit easier than if she would have to express all of her wishes and feelings to someone else.
Several pieces from different series will be shown in the Direktorenhaus exhibition. “The Early Breakfast” and “The Dinner” are both part of her Repast Series, which is an allegory of the life cycle. The early breakfast refers to the childhood with its white color and excessive dressing. The milk is a representation of a mother here, and helps us to remember that in our childhood all the food was provided by our family. The dinner is really meaty. It is a way to represent the fact that in our adulthood we find our ood ourselves, no longer dependent.
“For Lempicka” is part of one of her most well-known pieces of work: “PAINT”. This series is based on Belkina’s love for the art of the late 19th & early 20th centuries. Belkina was inspired by the great artists of this time and uses one basic instrument here: her body. She isn’t just mimicking their techniques to create new pieces, but is taking the place of each painter, trying to understand what was driving their minds in the process of their creations.
“Revival” is a series of allegories on the theme of neo-renaissance. Belkina was inspired by the non-religious nature of culture and its anthropocentrism. With distinctive elements of the Renaissance and by using motherhood as a symbol, Belkina points out the return to the spiritual. “If the Renaissance is an escape from the influence of the church toward the exploration of identity and the living material world, “Revival” is an escape from consumerism and materialism, imposed by the society, to the exploration of oneself and personal spiritual growth: Neo-renaissance in everyday life. “Revival” is also famous because of the “The Sinner”, which won a Hasselblad Masters Award in 2016.
For me personally, Katerina Belkina is one of the most in demand living artists in the art market, and I really recommend not missing your chance to check out her work in Berlin.
Header-picture: The Dinner.
More information about the artist and her exhibition here: