Soft and Uncertain Portraits by Kristina Varaksina

Kristina Varaksina - Anonymous - face leaf

Kristina Varaksina is a Russian-born, New York–based artist known for soft-hued portraits conveying the quiet-yet-complex inner worlds of her subjects. We featured her work in the past—specifically, ethereal photographs of a red-haired model—but recently, Varaksina has shared “Anonymous,” a series referencing 20th-century surrealism. As the title suggests, these images are about identity and “the unease the artist feels about the world’s uncertainties.” With the faces hidden, the viewer is prevented from connecting emotionally with the subject, creating a feeling of disconnect in the otherwise warm, minimalist environment. The longer you look, however, the more an emotion begins to arise, facilitated by the presence, texture, and shape of the fruits and leaves.

Kristina Varaksina - Anonymous - leaf back Kristina Varaksina - Anonymous - long squash vegetable
Kristina Varaksina - Anonymous - papaya Kristina Varaksina - Anonymous - onions Kristina Varaksina - Anonymous - spine leaves Kristina Varaksina - Anonymous - spiky fruit
Images © Kristina Varaksina
Hayley Evans

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Hayley is a freelance writer and editor hailing from Montréal. Her affinity is with the written word and anything that is dark, beautiful, erotic, or strange.

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