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Art Watch : Paola Kudacki

Paola Kudacki is our Art Watch Artist for today. This section is brought to you by Art From Us and Divvya Nirula. The Artists we spotlight here can be from any field, across nay discipline, and using a variety of media. We share here why we think they are important and worth watching. Be it genius creators of eras gone by. Or the upcoming contemporary artist who is yet to have their first show. All come under the purview of Art Watch. 

A collaborative project by photographer Paola Kudacki, and model Leila Goldkuhl with stylisation by Akari Endo-Gaut and make-up by Mathias Van Hooff – this is a not-so-subtle commentary on the female body, their own industry of image and consumerism, where women are simultaneously product and consumer – a self-cannabalism of sorts. These images created by them, titled ‘Plasticity’ – a photo spread in the Beauty Papers Magazine of S/S 2016 uses neoprene plastic, tape, wire and string to make us uncomfortable. The voyeuristic nature of the images questions our gaze and intent as viewers. Are we complicit in this cycle of abuse? Or are we also being abused? This forced dialogue through Kudacki’s images in fascinating – uncomfortable, but entrancing.

Paola Kudacki is based in New York, however she was born in a small town away from Buenos Aires, Argentina. When she moved to New York she was told that there was a photographer for every penny that was thrown – so in that sense she should be able to craft her own identity and have an individual voice if she intended to make a living. It would be important to make her way with great care for a future as passion fizzles out.

Why Paola Kudacki?

“When I was around six I remember my mother would have perfect eyebrows, so I was like, ‘Oh, I need to have perfect eyebrows,’ so I painted them by hand and cut them with scissors because I didn’t know that you needed to pluck them. One centimeter was white, another was eyebrow, another was white–I looked sick! I really quickly went to sleep and my mother went to wake me up in the morning and she was like, ‘Oh my god! You’re sick! You’re losing your hair!’ So then I had to tell her that I just wanted perfect eyebrows.” This was Paola at her best – and it is the stories that have paved the way to her understanding of beauty, standards norms and then the critique of them.

The simple acts of childhood – are where the notions of the self and identity are shaped. Her father was a painter and he would do signage – and paint as well. So she was exposed to the world of art from a young age. She messed with brushes and paints and developed a fascination for colour, images and an inherent sense of depth and vision.

 She graduated as a graphic designer at Panamericana Of Art & Design in Buenos Aires. Her career has been diverse from training to be a ballet dancer to styling to art direction. She has always been a person who likes to pursue her dreams – even though she was told that she couldn’t practice as she had broken her legs – Kudacki persisted. There is a deliberation in what she sets out to achieve and her determination resonates in the work that she does.

She has been directing video/moving image pieces since 2008. In 2010 she won the Marie Claire prix de la mode for the photographer of the year.


For more Artists handpicked by Divvya Nirula – explore the ART WATCH archive.

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