Exploring the modern gaze with Ivan Alifan

My 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.~Ivan Alifanalifan3To 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.png11I most time start with an idea that consists of a body position and certain colors. I then try and bring my mental picture to reality by staging a palpable version, which is never as precise as the image in my head. However, during the staging (such as making tiny trees, creating non realistic lollypops, etc)  of my mental idea new interesting aspects occur that was not in my original thinking. As a result, I go through a very playful and creative process that uses both my imagination and the unknown to create my final photo reference. The next stage is to decide how big is my canvas, how paint will I use, and what technique and applications will I use to accentuate my original mental picture and feeling. I refer to my work as self-portraits, implying the instability of gender identity but also demonstrating how all artwork offers us at least a glimpse of the artist.  submergencealifan01 alifan5 g3 g21 png8 small3