Black Venus (NSFW)

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Raw women in many shades, shapes and sizes makes Maxim Vakhovskiy’s models so relate able, that the viewer would swear that they know these women, as either a neighbor or a woman they seen in passing at the grocery store or maybe even a woman who attends their church each Sunday. These are real women that connects with their audience even though this may be their first time being professionally photographed. These black goddesses are a representation of women from the south in America, as they were all photographed in Vakhovskiy’s studio in Charlotte, North Carolina. These images are all part of his Black Venus Project, celebrating the beauty of black women.

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Much of the inspiration came from women in classical art — Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, versions of Madonna with Child and the like — all being symbols of beauty, love, motherhood, earth-goddessness, and femininity, although at times also [inescapably] sexuality. Focusing on women of African descent and being fully aware of specific negative connotations of “Venus” in black history, I’ve undertaken the task, undeniably much bigger than myself, to overturn these connotations at least within the context of my work. I’m presenting these women, or rather, they are presenting/celebrating themselves, as “Venuses” of the modern world, shattering the molds of their histories and social ideals. It is my hope that, regardless of your feelings about the title, you will continue to enjoy the photographs.
Maxim Vakhovskiy

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Maxim Vakhovskiy

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