Nature, Femininity and Female power; an interview with Alina Gross.
In Alina Gross’s photographs, the female body is depicted in a way that is far removed from traditional erotic representation. Instead, the artist uses the language of photography to evoke the complexities and ambiguities of sexuality and gender. Based in Germany, but originally from Ukraine, Gross combines natural elements and shapes to create a unique form of beauty, which she refers to as the “Beauty of Imperfection”.
This concept is also the title of her latest art book and a project that she has been working on for years. Her work does not conform to traditional notions of beauty, but instead expands the meaning of forms through the use of color, composition and the manipulation of the female body. Alina Gross invites the viewer to re-examine their understanding of reality and to break down society barriers through her art.
Tell us about yourself; what are your studies and artistic background
I studied visual communication in Germany with a focus on staged photography and also taught photography while I was working as a freelancer. My work focuses on the representation of the body and its diversity.
What are the inspirations/inspiring artists for your work?
I am inspired by the work of Robert Mappelthorpe, his Flora paintings are an inspiration.
Louise Bourgeois moved me with her portrayal of motherhood and her feminist sensual art.
What do the terms “femininity” and “female body” mean to you? How come you combine flowers and floral themes with shots of female body parts? What color do you think best represents the concept of “femininity” (if any!)
Giving birth changed my body forever. My view of beauty has changed radically.
For me, femininity means a process where the body is constantly undergoing changes that I want to show in a new way. For me, the flowers are a metaphor for sexuality, birth and fertility.
The concept of “femininity” is very diverse and difficult to pin down to one color. I believe that colors subconsciously show moods and these are very different.
(Note: if you are curious, you can enjoy Alina’s workshop about feminism, body image and more with Dariia Migalova at this link)
Show us your favorite work. Would you mind telling us an interesting story behind it?
It’s very difficult, my paintings are all my “babies”. But of course there are images that are more successful than others: images that are printed and shared more often. Pictures that go viral. I have put together a series for you on the subject of blue. I have always been fascinated by the underwater world and discovered the octopus because a person close to me was suffering from depression.
For me, photography is also self-reflection and therapy, it helped me to find a way out of difficult situations like back then.
Tell us more about the concept behind your art book “The beauty of Imperfection”
My book is about the vision of a person who is allowed to have flaws and these are even shown aesthetically. From my point of view, distorted representations of beauty prevail in society and on social media. I want to show my vision and draw attention to the fact that ideals of beauty can be questioned. I see this as my responsibility as a photographer for society. You can purchase Alina’s The Beauty of Imperfection at this link.
What plans and future projects do you have in store for 2023?
Good question! I want to keep experimenting with flora and developing new pictorial ideas without deviating too much from my pictorial language. I would also like to work with body painting and also develop the topic of depicting bodies. I am in the process of rebuilding my account which was hacked at 14k and deleted by a criminal for not paying his money request. So I recommend each of you double authentication on Instagram!
Bodypainting by Vanessa Hitzfeld
Leather gloves by Schiaparelli
Models Charlie Schäfer and Emma Declercq