NSFW Photos Challenge Common Notions About Breastfeeding

You have to see how this artist flips societal norms about what it means to be a breastfeeding mother on their heads. Warning: These photos are not suitable for work.

Asya Reznikov is a mother and artist—and makes full use of both of these roles in her latest project.

The Russian-born artist has created Expression, an eleven-minute video and audio piece that makes an incredibly powerful statement about the role mothers play in society. The video features Reznikov expressing her breast milk into a pair of wine glasses. You could interpret this action in any number of ways, but Reznikov set out to convey something specific: She aimed to take the image of a woman pouring a drink for her husband and subvert it. It represents a dichotomy: The thrill of intoxication along with the responsibility of nurturing another human.

Asya Reznikov expresses breast milk into wine glasses for latest video project. Asya Reznikov

The full video, which is on display at New York City's Nancy Hoffman Gallery, is a sight to behold but even stills convey Reznikov's message loud and clear.

"Five years ago, I became pregnant with my first child and I couldn't help but create works about that experience, which suddenly became my new world. I obsessively documented my body's changes, my thoughts and emotions, and how my experience related to the world at large. These images, videos, writings, and thoughts all evolved into the pieces that are in this 'turning life' exhibition," Reznikov told Fit Pregnancy. "This body of work explores the fear and excitement associated with pregnancy, the gambles of reproduction, and women's roles as nurturers—more specifically, female artists' roles as creators of both art and life. It addresses the paradoxes in society of being both a female artist and mother."

Asya Reznikov Jackpot Pregnancy Triptych Asya Reznikov

Reznikov has a very clear understanding of what her work is about but that doesn't mean she doesn't worry about how the public views it. 

"One concern I had was that the work might be perceived as 'work about pregnancy,' which it is not. There are many layers to the work and I use my experience of pregnancy and nurturing as a metaphor and means through which to explore universal issues. Among other things, Expression shows the contradiction of how our society celebrates serving alcohol while shunning nursing a baby in public," she said.

But people are responding quite well to what Reznikov has presented. "Reactions to the works have been very positive because they're immediately compelling, allowing viewers to engage with them and discover layers of meaning. Also, this work enables people to contemplate material with which they ordinarily might not be comfortable," she said. "I bring front and center female artists' roles as creators of both art and life, while continuing to explore the broader themes that dominate all of my work such as issues of displacement, domesticity, identity, foreignness and definitions of home." 

Asya Reznikov Pumps Breast Milk in Wet Bar Art Piece Asya Reznikov

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