Mila Alexander is a Russian-born artist based in London whose thought-provoking portraits take inspiration from female beauty and sensuality, fashion, cinematography and literature. She began her career in the fashion industry working for top UK couture houses, and although she always felt that her true passion lay within the art world, her innate sense of style and eye for colour and texture infuse every piece she creates.
With the skill and dedication of a film director, Mila creates and controls her exquisite pieces from conception to completion. Once she has found her muse she personally designs and makes their outfits, choreographs the shoot, produces life drawings and starts work on the painting in her studio. As such, each piece offers a reflection of the artist, demonstrating a disciplined self-awareness manifested in her confidence in her own femininity and that of those who she portrays. Consequently, her work demonstrates purposeful self-awareness as Mila harnesses her own strength to produce stunning works that exude female empowerment.
Again influenced by her couture background, Mila works with a combination of oil paints and varnish to achieve an astonishing level of accuracy and detail, and a glossy ‘Vogue’ finish. Describing her work as “controversial, sensual and feminine”, she juxtaposes the female figure with the masculinity of tattoos and cigarettes, thus challenging society’s expectations of femininity. She believes that the partial concealment of the face of the subject serves not to hide their identity but rather to highlight it, and she encourages the viewer to recognise that demeanour, confidence and strength are as much a part of our identity as our facial expressions.
For Mila, female empowerment through art is the rationale, the process and the goal of her oeuvre. This is highlighted when she occasionally leaves hidden messages in her paintings – a story hidden within a tattoo, a love poem suspended in the background – to hint at an unsolved mystery in the unknown world of the woman we are observing on the canvas. In this way each individual portrait packs a unique and powerful punch.
Mila Alexander is a determined seeker of culture and creativity, and her interests and passions feed into her depictions of very different women who reflect the glorious diversity of global culture. Her work has been bought by collectors all over the world and she counts many famous faces amongst her admirers, including legendary actor Antonio Banderas. “For me the masks create a sense of mystery, I want the viewer to wonder who is the woman behind the mask? Part of their strength is to not reveal themselves fully, these women are not vulnerable – they are symbols of strength”.