Having attained degrees in both Art History and Classical Archeology, Iva Milanova’s academic training is reflected in paintings where mosaics and religious symbols are imbued with a dark sensuality offset by a refined receptivity to color. She utilizes portraiture to study the full gamut of emotions that can be expressed by the human face. Applying her talents to the venerable medium of oil on canvas, her perceptive artistry doesn’t shirk from representing troubling subjects. Old age, as it gnaws away at the features of a face, feature prominently in her work—especially in paintings where women are depicted with only lustreless black eyes emptied of sentience.
The oil on canvas work After shows the mask-like visage of a woman. Through the gestural impasto of Milanova’s brushwork, the viewer can’t quite decipher the attitude of the woman in the painting. Is this a death mask? Is it the cold visage of old age looking past the viewer into the immensity of time? The ambiguity of the work is counterbalanced by the tactility of the paint which lends it an almost sculptural presence.