Janka Smetanina

Berlin-based Russian Multidisciplinary Artist

from: 21.10.2019   to: 27.10.2019

Multidisciplinary artist Janka Smetanina is committed to the idea that art bears social responsibility. Through performance, video installation and painting, she demonstrates how private and public influence, transform, construct, represent and deconstruct our reality. Her varied education and technical skills allow her to explore a variety of mediums and artistic narratives.

Smetanina’s paintings series No Fear. No Shame. Par Excellence. featured in the group exhibition Un_Real Desires, celebrate the exposure of the female body, moving away from the historically stigmatized representations of the vagina and breasts. The representation of the female form in her work is part of an on-going project “Body” that began in 2017, dedicated to the acceptance of human bodies. It originated in questioning why exposing the female breast is a centuries-old taboo and progressed to examining how representations of the vagina are presented in art. The artist also examines how standards of feminine beauty has been changing and evolving, as well as the reaction of society to these changes. Her series of nude portraits glorifies the female form and creates associations with positive archetypes, as an act of destigmatizing the breasts and vagina. The works also provide a refreshingly truthful and naturalistic representation of the female form, in contrast to the oversaturation of overly photoshopped depictions of women in the media.

Born in Belebey, Russia, and growing up in Serbia and Moscow, Smetanina is now located in Berlin. She received an MFA from the Moscow State University of Print Media, and studied philosophy and art at the Institute for Contemporary Art and Performance at PYRFYR. Her first solo exhibition in 2012 at Zverev Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow was nominated for the Kandinsky Prize.


Janka Smetanina homepage


Images courtesy Kimyia Nik