15.07.21 - 15.08.21
Online viewing Room

“The muse is inside each of us, like an inner "I," inspired by oneself, naturalness and reality. Art used to view muses primarily through a male gaze, which objectified a woman, portraying her in the rays of patriarchal stereotypes. These were images of female characters as a product of male projection and fantasy. The female gaze in art is a relatively new concept that arose at the end of the last century and depicted women through the prism of a female perspective, subverting the ubiquitous male one. It is how a woman sees herself, other women and feels the world around her. 

Since ancient times, art has been dedicated to the depiction of beauty and belonged to men. Accordingly, the image of women in this was subordinated to the desires and needs of one of the sexes. The theme of the female gaze is often associated with the destruction of bodily and other stereotypes towards women generated by the male gaze. The female gaze confronts the created ideal of beauty, which imposes specific standards that she must meet.

The artistic initiative "Muses" by Alina Zamanova shows that all our bodies are beautiful and that any woman is, first of all, a muse, an inspiration and radiates a powerful energy. For her, loved ones, or creators. More than 45 women worldwide have embraced vulnerability and took control of their reflection by sending the captured pristine beauty of themselves to the artist. 

A comfort zone is a place where it is safe, comfortable, confident and calm. In modern perception, it implies the opposite of life changes, the excitement, for the sake of which it is necessary to go beyond this outlined circle. The art project "Muses" demonstrates the falseness of the classical perception of a comfortable zone and an attempt to find a balance between women-muses going beyond the line of their comfort, being in their usual conditions. Their way out of their comfort zone is to expose their bodies and stories, physically and mentally so that the artist can capture that instant moment.

Creation takes place through cognition when the painter learns in more detail about the relationship of women with their bodies besides looking at photos. They tell stories, how they overcame their fears, anxiety, and health issues, which helped Alina understand that inspiration can not only be found in books and museums, but it can be right in front of you in your reflection. Furthermore, the word "standards" goes beyond its meaning, showing real beautiful female bodies through the prism of a woman's gaze in art.”

“The women took photos, intertwining with decorative elements, merging with their own home, showing unity with themselves and their comfort zone. They reunited with nature, twisted, coming up with interesting poses. And distinctive features that adorn any female body, such as stretch marks, hair, freckles, cellulite, tanning stripes, only give each of the muses uniqueness.

Together with the vulnerability of 45 muses, their strength and openness come to the fore. Being in their familiar environment: in their home, in nature, in the bathtub, they are in a delineated comfort zone. And by sending photographs of themselves to the other woman, who they know solely through social media and who is an artist, simultaneously opened themselves and went out of the private medium.

It seems that they are total strangers who trust each other on a deeper level with true openness, showing the rare and hidden from prying eyes angles of their body and soul. Women smudge the border of the normality with faith in the good purpose of art but also to surprise themselves. The blurring of boundaries is also due to the lack of personal acquaintance with the artist, who depicts them, through women's personal stories, dedicating a clean sheet of paper. Alina chooses different art materials to tell all those narratives, from ink bleeding on paper to sharpened pencil to capture raw details of the skin, body rolls painted with flowing watercolour.

"Muses" are women that each of us can meet on the street, diverse, real, and beautiful. It is more about the inner state of women and the ability to find inspiration in their reflection in the mirror, overcoming disappointment with the imposed bodily stereotypes. Art helps each one remove the psychological pressure on herself to think about her own body by embracing and reevaluating ideas about beauty and ugliness.”

Words by Polina Kariuk

“From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all, my Muses. You inspired not only me but the other women across the whole world too. ” - Alina Zamanova.

Please note that all the artworks from this project are not available for purchase.

I am currently available for private commissions