Mila Alexander - Femme Fatale

August 15, 2018

Mila Alexander - Femme Fatale

Mila Alexander - Portrait Noir


Sultry and powerful are two adjectives to describe the vignette edged photorealistic portraits of Russian born painter Mila Alexander. Reflecting their maker, each word indicates a degree of managed self-awareness which manifests itself in the feminine strut of the artist and the confident depiction of her muses. A fiercely independent mind with a paintbrush as sharp as a razor, her brown eyed stare observes those she encounters. Searching for attitude and beauty, the artist bypasses vacant good looks in favour of interesting and compelling models.

Sultry and powerful are two adjectives to describe the vignette edged photorealistic portraits of Russian born painter Mila Alexander. Reflecting their maker, each word indicates a degree of managed self-awareness which manifests itself in the feminine strut of the artist and the confident depiction of her muses. A fiercely independent mind with a paintbrush as sharp as a razor, her brown eyed stare observes those she encounters. Searching for attitude and beauty, the artist bypasses vacant good looks in favour of interesting and compelling models.



Painted portraiture comes with a complex set of obstacles to navigate; capturing a likeness is the foundation, though communicating the thoughts on the mind of the sitter is an altogether different skill. With roots in status and cultural currency, once upon a time this artistic genre was the reserve of the elite in society. Only kings, queens and the upper classes could afford the privilege of commissioning a painting of their features, to ensure their faces were remembered. In true subversive style Mila Alexander hand selects her own subjects whose air fits her brief and agenda. Identifying strong females through social media and celebrity status, many have talents for performing and are thus accustomed to scrutiny; the result are portraits showcasing inner strength laced with the vulnerability of those who are judged.

Painted portraiture comes with a complex set of obstacles to navigate; capturing a likeness is the foundation, though communicating the thoughts on the mind of the sitter is an altogether different skill. With roots in status and cultural currency, once upon a time this artistic genre was the reserve of the elite in society. Only kings, queens and the upper classes could afford the privilege of commissioning a painting of their features, to ensure their faces were remembered. In true subversive style Mila Alexander hand selects her own subjects whose air fits her brief and agenda. Identifying strong females through social media and celebrity status, many have talents for performing and are thus accustomed to scrutiny; the result are portraits showcasing inner strength laced with the vulnerability of those who are judged.


“I knew that I wanted to portray a fashionable, sensual, strong, confident female in my paintings. Finding a suitable model for this series was my next challenge, it took me a long time to find someone who I could see myself painting for the months to follow. After I’d found my muse, I went through all sorts of fashion and interior design magazines just to find the looks that inspire me. To know which tones look great together and decide which colours scales I’m going to use in my series, many colour studies were made. Thereafter I sourced the outfits and looks that depict our modern-day style and suited the model. After many sessions of life drawing, studies and photographing I was ready to start painting.”


The first body of original works presented at Wyecliffe depicted the singer Chloe Jasmin, who found a national platform auditioning for the X-Factor. The perfect choice for Alexander, her sitter was recognised for her fragile yet sensual presence used to accomplish compelling renditions of elegant lyrics from the 20th century. An old soul in a contemporary time and as platinum as Marilyn Monroe, the artist styled her subject in a cashmere top left open to expose the lace underwear below. Poised with lit cigarette in hand, Jasmin wears a black eye mask with Playboy bunny ears. Made infamous by Hugh Hefner, the ears have been appropriated by many artists to communicate sexuality and power. Each of the portraits was named with a different first name such as Clarisse and Carmen, to highlight the many roles and personalities comprised within a modern female, were purchased immediately by a series of astute collectors, including respected Spanish actor Antonio Banderas who purchased two works for his private collection.

The first body of original works presented at Wyecliffe depicted the singer Chloe Jasmin, who found a national platform auditioning for the X-Factor. The perfect choice for Alexander, her sitter was recognised for her fragile yet sensual presence used to accomplish compelling renditions of elegant lyrics from the 20th century. An old soul in a contemporary time and as platinum as Marilyn Monroe, the artist styled her subject in a cashmere top left open to expose the lace underwear below. Poised with lit cigarette in hand, Jasmin wears a black eye mask with Playboy bunny ears. Made infamous by Hugh Hefner, the ears have been appropriated by many artists to communicate sexuality and power. Each of the portraits was named with a different first name such as Clarisse and Carmen, to highlight the many roles and personalities comprised within a modern female, were purchased immediately by a series of astute collectors, including respected Spanish actor Antonio Banderas who purchased two works for his private collection.



A pause took place following this immediate success. Over a year in the making, the newest series of portrait works to arrive at the Wyecliffe studios in Weybridge have been anticipated by team and viewer alike. Developing concepts in her mind and transportable mood boards, Alexander admits that it takes months of preparation before she can act on her ideas by placing paintbrush to canvas.

The muse chosen, selected from thousands of faces was Scandinavian model Sylvia Flote. A keen friendship between the two women developed as the paintings progressed, contributing to the intensity and richness of the portraits. Flote’s aura of feminine playfulness and poetic nature helped to direct the works, with the artist constantly re-working to find new depth and meaning in the finished oil paintings. Alexander admits her model’s pale skin and richly coloured hair were challenging to paint as were the extravagant fabrics she was clothed in, though she was kept captivated and committed by the fire she found in the eyes of her new friend.
Each portrait is titled only to reveal a little behind this intense work process, leaving the reading open to the imagination of the viewer. Alexander is keen for her audience to connect with the sitter, without the interference of concept and rhetoric. Dance with Me, Hear Me Whisper, and Serenade are all life size works, impressive statement pieces.   Of note is the striking red guitar in Serenade which is the artist’s own – a new passion is learning to play the instrument to focus the mind.
Future plans include expanding her collection of muses to become a painter come anthropologist, to depict women of all skin colours, reflecting the diversity of the global culture. A movement in society geared towards the equality of both genders, Alexander is at the forefront of an artistic and political zeitgeist championing women and the ownership of their own images. An artist on the rise, she represents an incredible fusion of traditional painterly talent alongside a contemporary vision.

A pause took place following this immediate success. Over a year in the making, the newest series of portrait works to arrive at the Wyecliffe studios in Weybridge have been anticipated by team and viewer alike. Developing concepts in her mind and transportable mood boards, Alexander admits that it takes months of preparation before she can act on her ideas by placing paintbrush to canvas.

The muse chosen, selected from thousands of faces was Scandinavian model Sylvia Flote. A keen friendship between the two women developed as the paintings progressed, contributing to the intensity and richness of the portraits. Flote’s aura of feminine playfulness and poetic nature helped to direct the works, with the artist constantly re-working to find new depth and meaning in the finished oil paintings. Alexander admits her model’s pale skin and richly coloured hair were challenging to paint as were the extravagant fabrics she was clothed in, though she was kept captivated and committed by the fire she found in the eyes of her new friend.
Each portrait is titled only to reveal a little behind this intense work process, leaving the reading open to the imagination of the viewer. Alexander is keen for her audience to connect with the sitter, without the interference of concept and rhetoric. Dance with Me, Hear Me Whisper, and Serenade are all life size works, impressive statement pieces.   Of note is the striking red guitar in Serenade which is the artist’s own – a new passion is learning to play the instrument to focus the mind.
Future plans include expanding her collection of muses to become a painter come anthropologist, to depict women of all skin colours, reflecting the diversity of the global culture. A movement in society geared towards the equality of both genders, Alexander is at the forefront of an artistic and political zeitgeist championing women and the ownership of their own images. An artist on the rise, she represents an incredible fusion of traditional painterly talent alongside a contemporary vision.






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