Dawn on Your Skin’: the facets of beauty and diplosomy

Author Anzhela Popova
Category Culture, Lifestyle, People, Town
Date May 17 2024
Reading Time 2 min.

Dawn on Your Skin’: the facets of beauty and diplosomy

In the heart of Notting Hill, the exhibition ‘Dawn on Your Skin’ has opened at Feelium Gallery & Studios. Artists Katya Tsareva and Damaris Athene reveal ideas that have an attractive power, but at the same time contradict themselves. One of these ideas is beauty as synonymous with youth, the other with aging. Beauty is ambivalent and made up of opposites: natural and historical, primordial and artificial, individualist and conformist, physical and digital – even the beautiful and the ugly.

Dawn on Your Skin': the facets of beauty and diplosomy | London Cult.
Exposition view ‘Dawn On Your Skin’, photo @ Damaris Athene

All standards of beauty, even if they seem particularly anamorphic and immutable, are fundamentally fragile. No matter how much the shape changes and no matter how many new forms and curves appear, the body always remains a body. The exhibition raises the questions: What is corporeality? What exactly can we consider the object of sexuality? At what point does disgust arise? And why do we perceive the same image in different ways?

A new series of works by Katya Tsareva called “Tender” is dedicated to beauty as a myth. Nowadays, this myth is again in demand, since beauty standards apply equally to both women and men. Katya depicts her models from original or found photographs. Subsequently, with the help of collage and computer graphics, she changes portraits, figures and fragments of bodies, thereby achieving a new form. The artist meticulously transfers processed images onto canvas or paper in a realistic painting manner, thus dissecting the understanding of the body as a sexual object, as something simultaneously frightening and exciting, attractive and repulsive. Not even an ideal body is preserved throughout a person’s life; Katya Tsareva’s works are an attempt to capture that very moment of constantly elusive beauty in our whirlpool of life.

Dawn on Your Skin': the facets of beauty and diplosomy | London Cult.
Fruiting_Body.006, 2024, Damaris Athene Karina, 2023, Katya Tsareva

Another important idea and paradox is aging, specifically the double standard of aging. Aging is doom. It is a crisis that will never exhaust itself because the anxiety never really goes away. Being primarily a crisis of the imagination rather than “real life,” it tends to repeat itself over and over again. The territory of aging has no clear boundaries, so up to a certain point it can be defined as one wishes.

Dawn on Your Skin': the facets of beauty and diplosomy | London Cult.
Exposition view ‘Dawn On Your Skin’, photo @ Damaris Athene

In view of this, Damaris Athene explores the theme of the posthuman and how the lived experience of technology offers new ways of considering materiality and the potential or physical limitations of the body. Posthuman theory offers the possibility of renegotiating hierarchies in a post-anthropocentric world, blurring the boundaries between the corporeal and the digital. Damaris considers the invisible worlds we contain within ourselves, which are inaccessible to us without surgery or scanning and which we rarely think about until we experience illness or injury. A new series of sculptures made from textiles and glass elements, Fruiting_Bodies, explores the power of attraction and repulsion, inhabiting the border space between two supposedly opposing states.

Our body remembers both beauty and aging. The works of Katya Tsareva and Damaris Athene flow seamlessly from paintings to sculptures and vice versa, reflecting the transition from one state to another. Each work exists individually, but as part of a synchronised group, co-existing with each other, moving as a whole. The exhibition reveals these moving interrelationships of matter and life, beauty and aging, environment and technology.

Dawn on Your Skin': the facets of beauty and diplosomy | London Cult.
Exposition view ‘Dawn On Your Skin’, photo @ Damaris Athene

Artists: Katya Tsareva, Damaris Athene

Curator: Anzhela Popova

7 Kensington Mall, London W8 4EB

17-19 May, 11:00-19:0

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