Introduction by Sophia Greiff
In her series of portraits Valeria Mitelman explores a very personal facet of female identity, presenting images that are part of the private documentation of expecting mothers.
Placing them in front of a black background she puts the women and their bodies in the centre of the image and the contemplation. Strong and all-powerful, with clemency and gentleness in their gaze, they are looking down to the viewer. Their tender and Madonna-like poses and gestures bring up associations of Botticellis pictorial representations of women or of renaissance oil paintings showing the Virgin Mother – with the sole exception that the child she is usually carrying in her arms is yet to come.
The title “Donna,” which is Italian for “lady,” supports the femininity but also respect that Valeria is showing in her images. She created a universal visual story about pregnancy, while at the same time picturing individual women with their singular physique, underwear and charisma.