Ivan Alifan’s work is an exploration of modern social and sexual taboos. Ivan Alifan uses shock tactics and provocative topics, where the erotic subtext is designed to disarm the viewers and force him to examine his relationship to sexuality. Aiming essentially to disturb, in order to provoke a questioning of our individual prejudices, Ivan Alifan directs his practice towards the human figure, creating an evocative atmosphere by using a limited palette of colours.
His It’s Not Milk series suggests a very intimate vision of desire, attraction and seduction, and the works, part of the Shock Art movement, are full of sexual innuendo. Described by R. Rawdon Wilson as a “mean of disrupting satisfied, complacent and hypocritical audiences in order to embody the opposite of values received or the dominant ideologies of the socio-cultural elite”, Shock art is used by Ivan Alifan as much in the themes discussed as in the aesthetics and style advocated. What society considers to be on the edge of the evil is an infinite source of inspiration for the artist.
A native of Rostov on Don in Russia, Ivan Alifan holds a BA in Fine Arts from OCAD University in Toronto. He is a recipient of the Untapped Emerging Artist Project and GradEx Medal Award, awarded by OCAD University. As part of a new generation of emerging artists, Ivan Alifan exhibits in the world’s largest cities, including New York, London, and Toronto. He now lives and works in New York.