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Viktoria Modesta is a bionic artist exploring modern identity through performance, fashion, avant garde visuals, technology and science.
VM's life story is a journey of exploration and pushing human boundaries. She was born in USSR in 1987 into a troublesome childhood - health struggles from birth in the restricted society of the Soviet regime, she escaped to London at the age of 12. Going from the extremes of hospital confinement in Latvia she fell into yet another extreme: the underground subculture of London.
Her interests in aesthetic eccentricity led to an early start in a modelling career, working with alternative clothing brands at the age of 15. It's around that time that she decided that realising her dreams and exploring her potential was simply not possible with the uncertainty of her dysfunctioning leg - a burden left after 15 surgeries under the USSR system.
Inspired by the avant-garde imagery of Alexander McQueen and Matthew Barney, VM approached doctors to have her lower limb amputated and replaced by a prosthetic in order to finally take control over her body. After five years battling to find the support for her decision among the medical profession, she finally had a voluntary operation at the age of 20.
In many ways, this was the real start of VM’s creative life and the end of frustrating limitations. Shortly after the transformation, she embarked on several creative projects that shaped her identity.
VM set the tone in collaboration with JAMES STROUD whose nude portrait of her was selected by The National Portrait Gallery and exhibited at the opening of St Pancras International Station. After years not participating in the things she loved, she began to develop the artistic world she had long wanted to create.
She picked up her musical roots from Latvian stage school and began songwriting, co-producing and ultimately orchestrating everything - directing photo shoots, designing online media and styling. VM's performances were most prominent in the fashion and art circles, performing at Fashion Week events, niche festivals such as LOVEBOX and throughout London night scene.
Never identifying herself with the disability tagline or constrained by her physicality, in 2012 VM starred in a key performance at the PARALYMPIC CLOSING CEREMONY directed by Kim Gavin. It was broadcast LIVE to over a billion viewers worldwide. Her role as the enchanting Snow Queen wearing a Swarovski prosthetic leg & performing with the main skating cast from Dancing On Ice gave birth to her new understanding of enhancing cultural landscape through her unorthodox vision - mixing fashion, sensuality and physical augmentation in a progressive way.
While continuing to cultivate her profile in the media in publications such as iD, Wonderland, Grazia UK and Italy, LOOK, Notion, The Times, Music Week, PRS Magazine and public talks at Wellcome Trust Museum, VM entered into a collaboration with CHANNEL4.
Their visions collided to fill the gap between pop aesthetic, credible art and disability representation within the media. They created a music video/film campaign that would take the world by storm generating over 100 million views worldwide and featuring in most popular blogs, magazines, and news channels.
That video, part of the Born Risky season, directed by the talented Saam Farahmand, became a milestone in the cultural perception of a new disability identity. Throughout the project, the intention was to maintain authenticity giving VM incredible creative control and a platform to tell her story in an honest way.
Viktoria's futuristic approach on “the body as art concept” got her selected as a director’s fellow at MIT Media Lab which led her to collaborate on a more academic level with artists working with technology & science, architects as well as multiple cultural institutions and museums worldwide.
In 2016 VM was featured in the 'Frontiers' issue of WIRED Magazine that was guest edited by then President Obama, where her work of creatively redefining disability and the future female image was recognized amongst some of the biggest social breakthroughs. Following that year VM debuted a multidisciplinary collaboration of tech fashion, prosthetics, architectural design, and music performance, called 'Sonifica' at Art Basel.
Aside from performance related work, Viktoria is also currently working on a prosthetics/fashion business hoping to benefit lives of more female amputees.
VM frequently does public talks and works advising global brands on future of disability lifestyle, future culture, socially impactful investment, technology in art as well as pursues her work as activist and promoter of innovation.
Her mission remains to explore the future depths of human experience as we extend ourself with hyper technology
+ PROTOTYPE VIDEO
Creative Direction, featured artist. Launched by Channel4, global viral reach view press coverage
+ ART BASEL
Three live performance at Art Basel with a 3D printed orchestra and a 'Sonifica' 3D printed bustier by with music Sensors
+ LOVEBOX Festival
Second stage live set alongside Kelis, Robyn, Fever Ray, Fenech Solar
+ MILAN FASHION WEEK
Finale live performance twice at main schedule for Sergei Grinko
+ PARALYMPIC CLOSING CEREMONY
Performance / dance piece as the Snow Queen with Dancing on Ice to Coldplay’s LIVE 42 song, London
+ FASHION FOR RELIEF
Catwalk appearance Naomi Campbell's Fashion for Relief event, London along side Jordan Dunn, Pixie Lott, Dynamo, Nicola Roberts + many others
+ MUSEUM OF FINE ART
Spike leg and prototype video featured in the #TechStyle Exhibition at MFA Boston 2016
+ MTV AWARDS
Openning the red carpet Frankfurt,hosting between the breaks with Ludacris