Think deeply about Ilua Hauck da Silva’s Veins of Vanity


Ilua Hauck da Silva is a Brazilian born artist who was a finalist in last Saturdays Winter Pride Awards with her piece Veins of Vanity II.

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Illua wore a tight-laced corset until it presented indents and scaring on her torso. She then modelled her torso out of optical glass to produce this stunning work which is a contemporary take on the Vanitas theme. The scarring and indents are a testament to the destructiveness of vanity. You can read more about Illua here.

Here is what Illua background on Veins of Vanity

‘Veins of Vanity is an ethereal, thought-provoking piece, which offers both a
contemporary take on the Vanitas theme and a conceptual approach to life
casting . The artist’s torso, cast after she had been wearing a tight-laced corset,
presents indents and scarring, which are testament to the destructiveness of
vanity. Such scarring is only visible because of the distinctive property of faultless
transparency inherent to optical glass, which, in this piece, has been polished to
perfection on the front, and sandblast on the back in order to preserve minute
details of the indenting on the skin. Veins of Vanity therefore articulates vanity
and its’ destructive aspects through the artist’s own vanity. The accentuated
curved shape of the waistline functions as a signifier for femininity, and points to
the idealisation of the feminine body in Western cultures.
And in case you are curious, what inspired me to make it was the relationship between violence and beauty. That led me to think about vanity and how violent it can be. I thought the work would be far more pertinent if I talked about my on vanity, rather than that of others (it would be too easy to talk about people who have plastic surgery, for example, as I have had none), as self-criticism is more dignified… but I also feel that if people do whatever it is that makes them feel better about themselves, they should embrace, as long as they are prepared to accept the consequences.’

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Veins of Vanity II

Veins of Vanity II beautifully illuminated at Winter Pride UK 2014