Glamour, the world of fashion and cinema, as well as the modern visual mass culture are central themes for Ms. Fedorova. The Lonely series depicts the heroines of our time – actresses, models, and TV screen stars.
During that period, the Artist lived in Moscow, and the rhythm of metropolitan life is reflected in the canvases of this project. It is all here – the advertising images, the nightlife, the exquisite nudes, and the world of cinema that the Artist relates to. Her favourite colours (red, white, and black) once again dominate her paintings, which she now paints on large-format canvases (Blizzard Pole, We’re Breaking Up). Two-meter-wide canvases, with composition based on film aesthetics (close-ups and free framing), present vivid and instantly recognizable images. This effect of recognition is possible not only because we see the images of celebrity Russian actresses like Renata Litvinova and Ingeborga Dapkūnaitė or characters from Kira Muratova’s films, but also because of the choice of those characteristic scenes and episodes that, being repeated in films by different directors, create a special – parallel – visual reality of our time.
Ms. Fedorova is interested in film stills where the images of heroines are based on a combination of style, fragility and vulnerability. For many years the work of film director Wong Kar-wai has been inspiring the Artist. She identifies with the Hong Kong filmmaker in his approach to composition, his colour vision, and the special mood of his films. Several canvases of the series are based on the episodes from the then recently released film My Blueberry Nights (2007). Taking individual film shots as her departure point, Ms. Fedorova translates them into the language of painting, feeding them through the lens of her own vision. Kar-wai’s famous device of breaking the classical compositional rule (according to which it is recommended to leave free space in front of a moving object) is taken one step further in Ms. Fedorova’s paintings. Blueberry Nights 3 reproduces the scene in which Rachel Weisz’s character is leaving the city. She rushes headlong in a car, but her rapid movement is visually constrained by this technique, resulting in a vivid image of a beautiful and strong woman whose fast-moving and vibrant life leads her into a dead end. In addition to impeccable style, all heroines of the series share this feeling of loneliness and disorientation. They are immersed in themselves, their thoughts are somewhere else, they dream or suffer, and look at the world around them as if from someone else’s perspective (Razor 4, At the Airport).
Continuing her dialogue with the cinema classics, Ms. Fedorova freely interprets a scene from Ingmar Bergman’s famous film Persona (1966). The theme of internal conflict and discord with one’s own self, masterfully rendered by the director in his existential drama, is brilliantly reinterpreted in Ms. Fedorova’s Persona. A Fragment. The characters of the black-and-white film appear in colour on the Artist’s canvas, and the bright and luminous palette of the painting removes the tension of a heavy psychological drama that permeates the Bergman film. Touching on complex subjects, engaging in a creative dialogue with other artists, Ms. Fedorova remains true to her own artistic vision. Aestheticism and the desire to create an impeccable visual image remain her number one priority.
Anastasia Karlova, Ph.D.
Curator of the Department of Contemporary Art, State Russian Museum,