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Yulia Artemyeva, One soul in two bodies


The presence of an animal in the portrait of a person is one of the most popular ways of depicting the personality of the model in the world’s art. The animal’s features, sometimes funny, sometimes threatening, project onto the model, defining, and sometimes contrasting with how the viewer percepts it. A classical approach is to depict a commander mounted on horseback in a ceremonial portrait, or a bird as a symbol of soul in children’s ceremonial portraits of the Renaissance. At present, this approach is being developed within the genre of psychological art-portrait.

Also, there is multiple social psychological research on the principles which influence the people’s choice of pets. The question whether the personality of the animal is similar to the temperament of the owner or the owner chooses a sort of “back-up” in the form of a pet in certain life circumstances still remains unsolved. However, the fact that the way the animals look matches and contributes to the image of the owner serves as kind of a prism through which we make judgments about him or her leaves no doubt.

This series is an attempt to impersonalize the model as much as possible. What does the owner of this pet look like? How did he or she create this space? What is his or her life like? What are his or her interests? The viewer can only invent details – these portraits only depict the model’s belongings, not their faces.


Yulia Artemyeva

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