Katia Kesic won the prestigious GMC Prize at the 2017 RBSA Portrait Prize Exhibition, with her works ‘Self-Portrait’ and ‘Self-portrait of Masha.’
Here, she reflects on the inspiration behind the works, which reveal contemporary feminist preoccupations, and notions of identity and representation…
Self-Portrait of Masha
Masha is an artist, architect, singer in the Orthodox church and has million other talents.
She is one of my dearest friends. She loves to make selfies, not out of narcissistic needs, but as an artistic act. Each one could easily be a painting.
All this I tried to combine in this portrait. It’s done in the old master’s style; echoing Durer’s self-portraits, but with a modern selfie twist evident in the device she is holding.
Masha is a truly unique person with many contradictory characteristics, yet her strong personality balances them out.
It is very difficult to describe what does make her so special. She definitely has an inventor’s mind and a very progressive way of thinking yet she is very old fashioned at the same time.
I was reflecting on the question of whether there is still a division between man and woman in the contemporary art world.
Does gender really matter?
Inspired by Hockney and Van Gogh, both male artists, I left the most “feminine” detail of apparel on the chair in a most “feminine” color.