Location: United Kingdom
Dr Natalia Jezova is an award wining, multidisciplinary artist. She achieved her Professional Doctorate in Fine Art at the University of East London in 2021.
Natalia communicates through a wide variety of media, including photography, film and installation. Her art, which has been exhibited internationally, addresses cultural memory, identity and gender issues.
The main theme explored in her work is the ephemeral nature of things and how the mediation of various objects may carry and evoke different meanings, testimonies and memories for the spectator. Her natural curiosity, interest and knowledge of art history, coupled with the use of certain objects from Natalia’s private collection of antique costumes, accessories and armour, have served as an inspiration in the development of her ideas.
Natalia’s work is never quite what first appears to be. Her images depict meticulously controlled compositions characterised by a classical aesthetic, tinged with poetic undertones of timeless desire and romantic.
Natalia particularly admires Old Master paintings. She is fascinated by their unsurpassed technical qualities, their mysterious representation of dramatic light and their masterful use of composition. However, she appreciates not only their technical skill but also their incredible ability to convey to a viewer the subtext of the picture hidden behind the symbolic meanings of colours and details - how the artists employed a complex visual system to assign a symbolic value to everyday objects, in a sort of visual shorthand for lengthier moral concepts and narratives. After all, many Renaissance masterpieces, with their unique placement of objects and use of distinctive colour palettes, are coded ‘books’ filled with secrets and hints. You just need to know the ciphers for these codes to understand what their author wanted to convey.
Natalia creates portraits and still life that evoke Renaissance painting. She mixes classical and modern aspects and her artworks are multi-layered, containing their own little secrets that viewers are invited to discover. As Natalia says: “What could be more enchanting than a mystery? I suppose, only the love for the mystery and the quest which one embarks on in trying to solve it.”
In a dramatically changing world there are still some constants, which accompany and help us survive in difficult times – love, art, beauty and sense of humour.
My latest "Secrets Breed Secrets" project on Renaissance Masters was created during COVID-19 lockdowns in London. In this series - my thoughts and reflections on the research which were made during the Covid era on Old Masters paintings.
I started this series during the first lockdown in London and continue to crate new works for it using self-portraits in gasmasks "Masquerade Spring/Summer 2020".
Throughout my life, Old Masters paintings came to have a big influence on me and I developed contextual ideas in my stage photographic series by encoding the images with symbolic meanings through the use of objects and colours. A symbol is a form in the philosophical sense. “The unique nature of a symbol is that it gives access to deeper layers of reality which are otherwise inaccessible” (Tillich, 1964, p.54).