Naked Me

Naked Me: Feminist Lyrical Abstraction and Contemporary Kazakh Art

Naked Me: Feminist Lyrical Abstraction and Contemporary Kazakh Art

At the recent exhibition «Naked Me,» held from September 15th to 17th in Almaty city, artist Assel Sargaskayeva invited viewers on an extraordinary journey through the lens of lyrical abstraction. This marked her debut showcase after transitioning from the corporate finance world to dedicate over 15 years to her artistic pursuits. Inspired by her extensive reading from a young age, Assel’s creativity is rooted in a strong desire to illustrate the ideas she found in books.

The exhibition is a vibrant tapestry of colors and intricate details, immersing us in the depths of female emotionality and introspection.

Art as an Expression of the Female «Self»

In each piece, fragments of the artist are evident, offering a glimpse into how she perceives herself and the world. The smooth, gentle lines serve as the starting point for faces and forms, infusing the canvas with new life. Through abstract shapes and spots of color, we encounter powerful feminine energy and complex emotional states. The paintings act as a platform for a dialogue of feelings and identity between the artist and the viewer. Assel communicates through colors, seeing them as a language through which she conveys her thoughts and emotions.
Assel Sargaskayeva, Nagina, 2022
The exhibition predominantly features bold and saturated colors, symbolizing life, energy, and the joy of existence. Assel invites us to see her world through the lens of perception, where each color embodies an emotion, each line represents an experience, and each detail forms a piece of the intricate puzzle of her life.

The «Naked Me» exhibition ignites creativity and self-expression, prompting each viewer to reflect on their own identity and life philosophy. Assel encourages us to view the world solely through the lens of our individuality and feminine strength, granting us the freedom to create our own meanings and interpretations of art.
Assel Sargaskayeva, Birth of the family, 2023
Beyond personal expression, this exhibition aims to introduce the world to feminist art from Kazakhstan and the driving philosophy of the artist. Assel stands as a prominent figure in the Kazakh art scene, utilizing her works to address significant questions about female identity and the role of women in contemporary society. «Naked Me» is a journey into the world of Kazakh culture, its history, and the aspirations of its artists.

Each piece presented at the exhibition leaves a distinct aftertaste: «Morana» immerses the viewer in the whirlpool of life, dedicated to the feminine spirit of water, offering hope and conveying the sense of the birth of Life. On the other hand, «Devi Ayu» (Beauty is Evil), following deconstructivist traditions, dissects each component into microcosms. The central piece, «Cross,» greets the viewer with its wealth of color, vigorous brushstrokes, and compelling composition. Assel’s unique style is shaped by an abundance of textures and experimentation in technique execution.
Assel Sargaskayeva, Cross, 2023
The exhibition leaves a profound impression, sparking numerous questions. Each piece serves as an invitation to reflect on one’s role in the world, life philosophy, and self-perception. Assel seeks balance in the relationship between Man and Woman, reflecting dualism and the birth of gender. As she explores her feelings about creativity and its perception, her mission is to showcase the value of Kazakh culture to the world.

«Naked Me» demonstrates that art can be a potent means of expressing feminist identity, contemplating philosophical questions of existence, and creating images born from the endless dance of lines and colors.

Irina Shrainer, the curator of the exhibition, elaborates: «Assel’s exploration delves into how women feel in a patriarchal world – how they live and the place they occupy. Feminist art is only beginning to emerge. The prerogative to be a ‘great artist’ was traditionally reserved for men. Her works not only possess aesthetic beauty but also delve into profound philosophical questions.»

This exhibition serves as a springboard for subsequent showcases scheduled for November in London and January in Los Angeles.