* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.
Ivan Alifan was born in 1989 and raised in Russia, now currently completing his final year at OCAD University majoring in Drawing and Painting. He participated in the Hermitage Museum residency in St.Petersburg, Russia and was a part of OCADU’s Off-Campus Studies Program, studying abroad in Florence, Italy.
Ivan describes his latest series, “It’s not milk” by saying, “This series is an exploration of the modern gaze; of ambiguous figurative paintings that are revealed and transformed within the act of the individuals’ views. These portraits are not an attempt to render physical characteristics but rather create a language of underlying sexual subtexts. Using ambiguity as a tool demands the viewer’s exploration of their psyches and provokes self awareness. To have a painting that can exist as an alluring object and shift into an eroticized figure disarms and naturalizes the modern gaze; decriminalizing sex in art. Whether an individual sexualizes the figure, or becomes embarrassed and nervous by the mere suggestion, this is all a process which occurs independently from the painting. Breaking down barriers of the different modes in which the body can exist in social spheres and contemporary art. “