It is very unique to mention that, although typical representations of the female nude in the European artistic tradition were made by male artists, who put woman on display for the pleasure of a presumed male spectator, Iliana focuses on woman nudes to express herself and the women soul as an artistic archetype. The male artist in most cases transforms the female naked body to become nude insofar as it is seen as an erotic object offered to the man’s gaze and his imaginary knowledge. Therefore, as an object of contemplation that uses nudity to reference mythological or biblical themes, the nude is elevated as a legitimate subject of art.
When we put into prospective the paintings of Iliana, we see the contrast of painting a nude woman in a different and more sensual ways, much less objective, but more abstract and emotional. In the art history, we see that the terms of that offering are subject to conventions calculated to flatter the male viewer and to stimulate his fantasy of sexual domination. Thus, as some art critics observe, “… almost all post-Renaissance European sexual imagery is frontal, either literally or metaphorically, because the sexual protagonist is the spectator-owner looking at it…”. This is very different in the paintings of Iliana. Her figures are more disguised, sometimes she paints portraits, that are also part of a very sensual journey. She makes her paintings as in one breath, much like some of the greatest artists of the 20th century.
The nude figures of Iliana are so tender and emotional, but so are her portraits. In some of her works of art, Iliana paints portraits of women, that are so bare and expressive in their appearance, that the spectator is convinced that if he looks further at their bodies, they are naked as well.
The Woman in the paintings of Iliana is depicted bare, naked and vulnerable, with no makeup, no artificial style with plain emotions, as a black emotional canvas, just as the nude bodies she loves to paint. Iliana is painting her nude bodies and faces from her heart and soul, much like some of the great contemporary artists of the 20th century, such as Lucian Freud and Amedeo Modigliani.
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