Having completed degrees in both Art History and Classical Archeology, Iva Milanova’s academic training is reflected in paintings where mosaics and religious symbols are imbued with a dark sensuality offset by a refined receptivity to color. She embraces the iconography of the early Christian church as much as Modernist masterpieces, but utilizes portraiture to study the full gamut of emotions that can be expressed by the human face.
Applying her talents to the venerable medium of oil on canvas, her perceptive artistry doesn’t shirk from representing troubling subjects. Old age, as it gnaws away at the features of a face, feature prominently in her work—especially in paintings where women are depicted with only lustreless black eyes emptied of sentience.
Yet Milanova can also portray the absurd levity of seeing someone who doesn’t know he’s being seen. Maneuvering her Modernist style to more contemporary perceptions, she carefully recreates a man’s momentary lapse of attention as he gazes out a window, transcribing the ephemeral mood of inattentiveness directly onto canvas.
A member of the “Société des Artistes Indépendants,” Milanova has managed to preserve the well-wrought simplicity of notable artists who captured the urban experience before her, while developing her own unique take on what the conventions of portraiture can tell us today.