Ksenia Levina

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Even after the sexual liberation of the 60s, feminist theory and arguably the (almost complete) emancipation of the women in the workforce, there still remains a problem regarding the explicit depiction of female genitalia. Is it freedom of expression and celebration of the female body, or inevitably a visual signal to stir the sexual juices and predispositions of the viewer? Does the depiction of genitals, given its stigmatized status in visual culture today, inevitably indicate a sexual quality?  And if it does, does that somehow negate from its artistic qualities? Must the viewer be sterilised in order to appreciate art, or is art allowed to evoke some kind of emotions, even if they may have a sexual undercurrent? Where is the line drawn between art and porn, between power of the subject, and the power of the viewer’s gaze?


My answer to these questions is the following ‘Drawing Essay’. In each drawing the power balance of the viewer and subject is addressed through the direction of the gaze, the openness of the pose and the mood of the figure.


My conclusion? Find it in the drawings. 

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Xenia Levina is a figurative artist, specialising in oil painting. Levina studied History of Art for BA at the University of Oxford, and developed her artistic practice through apprenticeships to artists. In her work, Levina examines the essence of the scene depicted, focusing on its human resonance.

For full CV and works, see Levina’s website:

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