Olga Feshina: New Tech Girls – Bikini Issue

Posted by Fabio 4 July 2019

A solo exhibition of new work by Olga Feshina at the NYA Gallery, New York. Curated by Shane Townley, the show will feature a total of eight paintings, many of which have not been previously exhibited. These works explore core motifs related to the artist’s ongoing “New Tech Girls” series, namely beauty, image construction and distortion, identity, self-fashioning, and presentation. With these new paintings of scantily clad young girls posing with handheld devices, Feshina calls the viewer’s attention to the contrast between contemporary and historic portraiture poses, highlighting how restrictive codes of behaviour change, migrate, and ultimately manifest themselves in visual culture.

New Tech Girls – Series
Feshina began the “New Tech Girls” series in 2016 and has continued elaborating on this body of work over the past few years. She is fascinated with how technological progress has had an adverse impact on the psychological development of women today. Specifically, she offers a compelling critique of how the paradigms of contemporary feminine beauty are created, distributed, and absorbed across digital devices and platforms. Using a soft, muted palette and matte texture, she situates her flat figures within shallow pictorial spaces. Her work repeatedly calls attention to the idea of surface, which is apt since her imagery is focused on the complicated dichotomy between reality and the virtual world. Across canvases like Girls Taking Selfie on the Beach (2016) and Girls Taking Selfie in the Fitting Room (2016), Feshina arranges highly idealized young girls in emulative poses that mirror ones they’ve seen via social media. Their actions in turn perpetuate trending postures in a never-ending cycle of vapid mimicry. The artist mines numerous media outlets in order to become familiar with the most common gestures, poses, and stances in circulation. What is more, her characters are often in synchronized postures in the compositions, underscoring the loss of individual expression and identity due to the nearly ubiquitous forces of conformity that operate underneath the surface of every constructed image on social media. Interestingly, in Girls Taking Selfie on the Beach, one of the figures holds a selfie stick, framing the overall painting as the screen of an iPhone. In other works, such as Girls with Friends Walking in Park (2019) and Girls Watching the Same Movie on the Beach (2017), the slim, youthful figures are together physically, but removed or distanced psychologically because they’re engaged in entirely different realms virtually.

Olga Feshina
New Tech Girls – Bikini Issue
NYA Gallery, New York
July 4 – July 21, 2019