Photographer Alina Gross celebrates in her works femininity, desire, beauty and acceptance of the female body. Aphrodisiacs is a photographic series of self-portraits and still lifes; a combination of sexualised flowers and fruits, fashion photography and feminine shapes. Birth of Mother, in collaboration with the sociologist Olga Galanova, is an interdisciplinary storytelling that draws attention to postpartum life and the complex experience of motherhood.

What does inspire you most in your artistic practice?

We live in a world dominated by images. The possibility of influencing the media world through my point of view is very attractive.

In Aphrodisiacs series you depicted a combination of botanical elements and female sexuality references. Can you tell more about it?

Being a woman is part of my identity. I like sexuality, I like talking about it and visualising it. Botanical elements have a feminine or masculine shape and color and are therefore ideal for erotic appearances without being vulgar.

You said about Birth of Mother: “Each birth is simultaneously the birth of the mother. This project reprimands the stereotypical mainstream euphoria around baby cuteness and sheds light on the postpartum life we experienced ourselves as mothers.” In your opinion, why is it important to challenge the way motherhood is portrayed in the contemporary photography?

The pressure on a woman to become a mother is enormous. We have worked to question the outdated image of the mother. We wanted to show the intimate side of becoming a mother, but also the pressure. Photography as a contemporary medium was very well suited for this social diagnosis

Birth of Mother is as much about your experience as it is about all the women who become mothers. The series is certainly a very intimate and, at the same time, a universal reflection on motherhood. What changed for you after making this project?

The reflection on motherhood was very important and intense for me as a personal experience. Sharing this experience with others, possibly taking away your worries and fears, makes me feel like I’m doing the right thing.

About Social Media: how do you find balance between censorship and the free expression of your works?

Instagram censorship is a problem for me. My posts get deleted regularly. Then my algorithm falls and I am constantly afraid that my account will be blocked. I am almost always on the limit of what is allowed.

In your opinion, what is the role of the female gaze in photography today? How do you think women can be empowered through the lens of photography?

Men often idealize women and often show them how they want to see them. Women, on the other hand, are often (not always) straight in working with their bodies. Young women need female role models who they can look up to and who encourage them not to be ashamed of what they are. Namely self-determined, nature beings who don’t have to hide.

Photo courtesy of Alina Gross.

WRITTEN BY MICAELA FLENDA


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Posted by:Micaela Flenda