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Age and Death Looming… Vania Zouravliov

Vania Zouravliov was a child prodigy, a Russian-born artist who was showing internationally by the age of 13. When you delve into his vast catalogue of works, it’s not hard to see why. His illustrations plant the seeds of 1000 thoughts in my mind. For me, Zouravliov’s images both challenge and reinforce my beliefs about women, youth, beauty, sexuality and feminism. His subjects gaze out at us with innocent lust in their dark eyes, twisted and tied in bondage by both human hands and nature’s roots. Behind their smooth skins and beautiful features, Age and Death loom, caressing them with gnarled and decaying hands. His women are exposed to the viewer, playfully and unintentionally, and are often touching themselves. To me, his images strike home at many of the deep issues women carry with them from birth to death; he illuminates the juxtaposition of the watcher and the watched inside every woman, and exposes the spirits of our future and past selves that haunt us. Looking at his wan bondage women, I see myself tied up and overgrown by my own expectations and responsibilities, those that were once forced on me as a young girl but now have become a part of my story. He depicts Jesus with a feminine face, a bearded woman, who bears his cross lightly but with confusion as to its’ purpose. I understand that look, I have felt that same confusion, and I have also marched forward with the weight on my shoulders to my impending doom. It may not have been his intention to send such strong and specific messages with his work, but I am touched deeply and personally by Zouravliov. If you are also a fan, you may be interested in picking up his book, Vania, an extended version of his 2008 monograph, published by Gestalten. After the jump, view a collection of Vania Zouravliov’s illustrations…





Written By

Meghan MacRae grew up in Vancouver, Canada, but spent many years living in the remote woods. Living in the shadow of grizzly bears, cougars and the other predators of the wilderness taught her about the dark side of nature, and taught her to accept her place in nature's order as their prey. She is co-founder of CVLT Nation.

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