“Kills and Kisses” project by Arina Orlova introduces six incarnations of James Bond as a movie character in chronological order: Connery, Lazenby, Moore, Dalton, Brosnan, Craig. Each image is accompanied by two sets of figures: the black numbers represent the total each Bond KILLED, the red figures — the total each Bond KISSED. Here we can see how the level of onscreen violence changed and also how female characters became less disposable in Bond franchise. The visual language of the project resembles traditional Byzantine and Russian iconography presenting the figure of James Bond as a contemporary iconic character.
The second part of the project explores 5 decades of Bond Girls: how the image of the most desirable woman changed from 1962 to 2012 and also how dangerous it is to be a Bond Girl. Girls in red are those who died onscreen.
From Russia with love: cueB Gallery is proud to present Moscow born artist Arina Orlova’s stunning work Kills and Kisses in celebration of the 50th anniversary of iconic British figure James Bond. The striking gold backdrops of the pieces immediately incite a sense of glamour, danger, lust and elegance; crucial themes which are integral to the Bond franchise and which have secured the character’s adoration for generations. Arina skilfully combines elements of traditional mythology and iconography with contemporary popular culture.
The faceless figures, presented in chronological order, are instantly identifiable as the six incarnations of Bond; Connery, Lazenby, Moore, Dalton, Brosnan and Craig. Although Arina has defaced the figures, they can still be immediately recognised, thus proving their iconic status. Each figure is accompanied by two sets of figures: the black numbers represent the total each Bond KILLED, the red figures represent the total each Bond KISSED. The project studies the mutual influence of the Bond character and his time; Arina raises questions such as “Did Bond become more or less violent? Did he start taking his women more or less seriously? How many killed, how many kissed? How many girls kissed and then killed? How many failed to kill him?”
The equally as infamous Bond Girls are also investigated; the change in image of the most desirable women from 1962 to 2012 is addressed as the beauties are presented in the same striking style as the male protagonist. Bond and his Girls are modern day mythological icons, in a society where film is so prominent characters often become idolised and attract an army of “new worshippers”. Arina states that “the visual language of the project is inspired by the iconographic traditions of Byzantium and ancient Russia where each colour had its own value and meaning”, for example the Bond girls who died onscreen are presented in red, the colour traditionally used for martyrs and sacrifice.
These images capture the true essence of James Bond and will entice you in the same way the films have done for years. There is even the opportunity to pose and take a photo of yourself as your favourite 007 character, be it hero or villain, and become part of the legendary Bond world yourself!
More information at www.arinaorlova.com