Portrait of Natalia Vadianova. Installation view

Portrait de Natalia Vodianova, 2007

“ As soon as I met Natalia, I wanted to photograph her connected to her origins.
I asked her to dive back into her family archives, and through the documents and photographs she entrusted to me, I journeyed to her Russian youth. ”

Portrait of Natalia Vadianova, preparatory sketch, 2007 

Portrait of Natalia Vodianova, detail of the drawing depicting emblematic buildings of the city of Gorky (now Nizhny Novgorod), Natalia Vodianova's birthplace, 2007

The Portrait of Natalia Vodianova is a diptych.
On the left is a pencil drawing of Natalia immersed in her childhood universe, through which the artist affirms the model’s Russian culture and traditions. Larivière uses the codes of the class photo found in Natalia’s archives; he makes this image his own by adding a few details specific to his world, such as a space car – a toy from Eastern bloc countries from the 1950s. On the right, a black and white portrait of a mannequin taken using a 4x5 shows Natalia, now an adult, with a pure and candid attitude, with the ghost of one of the monkeys she played with as a child next to her. This provides the link to her past.
A shade of blue watercolour on the animal’s t-shirt is reminiscent of the colour of her eyes.

Portrait of Natalia Vodianova, detail, watercolour and pencil eye drawing on fine art paper, 2007

Making-of Portrait of Natalia Vodianova, Jean Larivière drawing in his studio, 2007

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