Festive Moscow, glamorous Moscow, the Moscow of cinema and posters, the Moscow of today, and the Soviet Moscow – in the Stolichnaya series, the image of the city is born from the interweaving of its instantly recognizable picture-perfect symbols and the Artist’s own creative associations.
Ms. Fedorova masterfully combines vintage poster aesthetics of the capital with the distinct rhythm of the modern cosmopolitan life. Thus the Volga, referencing the images from Soviet films, appears alongside the Jaguar, the symbol of today’s Moscow, a city which never sleeps, full of pulsating life at extreme speeds, at times shocking, fully committed to the cult of wealth.
New female types appear in this series. They are no longer associated with the world of fashion and glossy magazines, but rather remind one of Filipp Malyavin’s Russian beauties (Lolita, Morning). The red colour, instead of being used sparingly, turns into a picturesque riot, enriched with additional hues and shades and applied in wide free-flowing brushstrokes. Apple Go Round, on the contrary, is styled to resemble magazine editorials, with the traditional Russian shawl presented as a must-have fashion accessory.
In this series, Ms. Fedorova offers both a westerner’s perspective, and an insider’s look at Moscow. Present here are both the familiar visual clichés associated with our country and the images from international cinema which largely determine the atmosphere of the capital at the turn of the 21st century. In Red Square, presented as a field of red poppies covered in blood, the outline of the British supermodel and actress Kate Moss suddenly appears. In Alice, Ms. Fedorova paints a portrait of Milla Jovovich’s character from Resident Evil. As the boundaries of local and international are blurred in the information age, separate fragments combine to produce a multi-faceted image of Moscow in this series.
Ms. Fedorova’s black and white paintings are inspired by both the state of suspense in Hitchcock’s films (Screen Test) and the retro aesthetics of Soviet film masterpieces about the Moscow of the 1960s to which the Artist adds some modern film imagery (My Wardrobes). Some of the canvases allude to the world of fashion which has captured the attention of millions today in the form of a mass pursuit of branded items, turning things into fetishes (Showcase, Vogue Heels, Jumpsuit). Also present here are picturesque stories inspired by the historical memories of Moscow (Spy).
The elusiveness of this controversial and vibrant city, which lacks only solitude and silence, takes an allegorical shape in Empty Canvas. Ms. Fedorova’s Moscow, filled with red in all its shades, slips away and leaves us with an impression of a city brimming with life and full of unexpected contrasts.
Anastasia Karlova, Ph.D.
Curator of the Department of Contemporary Art, State Russian Museum,