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MARIANO VARGAS

DAMA PORTRAIT WITH DOG II

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About the artwork

This photograph comes from the ?Everlasting Madonnas? series that Mariano Vargas began in 2003. With highly sophisticated theatricality, the nude young women whose portraits are taken by the photographer represent modern Madonnas. Also known as ?Virgin with child? portraits, they are a recurrent theme in the history of Christian religious painting and particularly that of the great masters of the Italian Renaissance (Botticelli, Raphael, Da Vinci, and Christus) from whom he deliberately seeks inspiration. Both provocative and intriguing, they seduce through the softness of their forms but also through their staging, worthy of a theatre set. It is difficult for the spectator to differentiate between painting and photography in this savvy combination of purity and insolence. The photographer nonetheless distinguishes his style through an extremely contemporary approach, by integrating elements into his images derived from daily life, which conspicuously disturb our interpretation. Dama Portrait with Dog II is inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci?s Lady with an Ermine (1488).

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Our key artists

MINA MIMBU

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RUSLAN BOLGOV

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LIA MSTISLAVSKAYA

Lia Mstislavskaya was born in 1985 in Russia and still lives in Moscow today. Her first photos at age 17 were self-portraits taken with the sole purpose of “having headshots like the stars,” she says. At the beginning, being a photographer didn’t even cross her mind: “When I star...