In a sequence of self-portraits, shot before and throughout the pandemic, Russian-born Kristina Varaksina sits against stark white backdrops, shrouded by materials – with subtle variations suggestive of time passing. In one image, plastic packaging obscures the artist’s face. In another, painted words sit sharply on the skin, manifestations of doubt. The series is claustrophobic – a 21st century take on classical painting – with Varaksina holding the viewer’s gaze unrelentingly. These works are an extension of Varaksina’s guiding principle: to interrogate “the vulnerabilities, insecurities and self-searching of a woman and artist.”
Image: Kristina Varaksina, Self-Portrait. Queen (2021). Dimensions variable.