Dior’s Artistic Director Maria Grazia Chiuri knew exactly what she was doing when she sent Sasha Pivovarova down the Spring 2018 runway wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the title of Linda Nochlin’s influential essay, “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” The model, who also appears in the collection’s campaign, has increasingly become known for her graphic style of art.
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Showcasing pride in their star, the house of Dior kicked off New York Fashion Week Tuesday night by displaying her work in a private exhibit. Included among the 40 pieces of art on view (including illustrations and paintings) were four sculptures—a medium somewhat newer to Pivovarova.
“At first, I was experimenting with wire and clay but then I discovered plastic,” she tells CR of the brightly colored and delicate busts. “I work a lot with recycled materials, because I like the idea of transforming random objects into art.”
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But the biggest draw of the evening was the immersive floor-to-ceiling installation, titled Life Session. Envisioned as a way for people to walk in and feel a part of the painting, the piece is hypnotic. Graphic black drawings (the artist’s trademark) on the white floor and ceiling created a sense that the onlooker was somehow smaller than normal—as if he or she had shrunken down and entered Pivovarova’s mind.
To a certain degree, the piece is indeed a glimpse in to her world, and her free-form way of applying brush to surface. “When I paint, I have no limits at all. I don’t care about right lines or proportion; sometimes I’m satisfied with a simple line drawing and other times it takes days of work to make me happy,” she says. “There is no right or wrong for me, it’s just important for me to like the image overall.”
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Though she has sat atop the modeling world for a long time, she has been creating for much longer—so much so that it has always been a part of her life. “As a child I would make my own comic books and illustrations for the fairy tales I liked. In my teenage years I experimented with a large scale art on walls in Moscow,” she says. “I have a physical need to express myself. Life is a continuous source of inspiration for me and my art always reflects what’s happening in my life.”
Pivovarova, who feels “proud” to be the face of the campaign for the collection, could not be happier that the storied French house was promoting her work in this way. “It feels amazing to have my dream come true in this way,” she said. “I’m so proud to see my “baby” come to life!”
This article originally appeared on CR Fashion Book.