Not a Man's World
Katerina Belkina presents her models in her series ‘Not a man’s world’
as the heroines of fairy tales, fables or mythology: Columbina, Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White. Each character symbolises aspects of the human condition and possesses mysterious powers, e.g. to turn hearts into blocks of ice or to incite the desire of a rich man.
The overall theme plays in a kingdom of women, where men have no place. Women are free to discover their inner beauty, desire, and strength. Upon closer inspection though, we discover that each of the models is the same person: the artist herself. Belkina adopts different costumes and masks to portray herself as ‘Sleeping Beauty’ or
‘Red Riding Hood’.
All characters have a strong personal meaning for Belkina albeit her portraits are in no way meant to illustrate childhood phantasies. She rather broaches the age-old practice of women to embody many different roles in their daily lives, be it a lover, a friend, a wife, or a mother. To her audience she is saying: ‘Look, I can be vicious, I can be jealous, I can be sexy and cast a spell.... and so can you...’.
Belkina leaves a strong message that gives space for ambiguous interpretation for male and female viewers. Men might see the anatomy of a woman’s subconsciously as both sexy yet evasive. Women could hear a call for exploration of themselves to discover the beauty of passion and the desire that nestles inside the subconscious.