It is no secret that women creatives have been overlooked through the centuries. For many of the women listed here the path to becoming a famous female artists was wrought with both personal struggles or hardships, and fighting the constant tide of being a woman in a male dominated world.
In celebration of Woman's Equality Day, I thought I would share with you my favourite female artists that influence my work today.
We begin with ...
1) Frida Kahlo
Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird, was painted by Frida Kahlo in 1940
Inspired by indigenous cultures of Mexico and European influences including Realism, Symbolism, and Surrealism. Many of Kahlo's works are self-portraits that symbolically articulate her own pain and sexuality.
Kahlo was the first feminist painter that I ever came across, showing the raw life she led with somber undertones in her paintings. The paradox of using bright colours in such revealing paintings capsulated me as soon as I laid eyes on them.
2) Pussy Riot
Feminist punk protest group Pussy Riot formed in Moscow in 2011.
Their rebellious art arose in the wake of Moscow Actionism, where artists and activists publicly rejected the oppressive and censorial politics of modern Russia through provocative and risky interventions in public space. In the early stages of the group's activity, Pussy Riot were an entirely anonymous group of around 15 young women who wore brightly coloured balaclavas to conceal their identity.
London’s Saatchi Gallery has been transformed into a Russian-style prison through immersive theatre. Political artist and Pussy Riot founder Nadya Tolokonnikova devised the show, she spent two years in a Russian jail after her group’s anti-Putin protests, and is now fighting for prison reform.
You either walk out of Art Riot fuelled with passion ready to make your own artistic political statement, or you leave feeling inadequate that you’ve never been brave enough to truly stand up for what is right. Discovering this made me stronger in my belief system. Art is symbolic.
3) Lina Iris Viktor
Black Union - 2017- Pure 24 Karat Gold, Acrylic, Charcoal, Poly Resin, Wood on Fabric
Lina Iris Viktor, use both contemporary and ancient art forms which calls into question the nature of time and being. Viktor regards these dark canvases to be “light-works”.
Viktor's work speaks volumes with each layer addressing the underbelly of many social, racial and political issues of past and future. Combined with the use of materials of her cultural background each new piece leaves me in awe.
4) Tamara de Lempicka. Nicknamed “The Baroness with a Brush.”
Tamara de Lempicka - The Straw Hat - 1930
Lempicka painted in an art deco style which at the time was perceived to be too muddy in colour. However, Lempicka wanted her own style, not to copy others. I respect this choice as, a fear for every artist is that their is too muddy.
''I live life in the margins of society, and the rules of normal society don't apply to those who live in the fringe.''
5) Yayoi Kusama
Life is the heart of the rainbow
Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese artist who is sometimes called ‘the princess of polka dots'.
‘Our earth is only one polka dot among a million stars in the cosmos. Polka dots are a way to infinity. When we obliterate nature and our bodies with polka dots, we become part of the unity of our environment’.
For me the takeaway of Kasumas work is that we are all connected. On a deeper level I agree that her work is not only vibrant and immersive but also an eye opening reminder to the tired soul.
So there we have it, 5 amazing female artists that encourage me to create learn and play. Art for me is about self discovery and connection with others. I hope you see this in work that I share with you.
If you have any other female artists that you'd like to share with me, I would love to hear your thoughts.
You can take a peak into my artist gallery by clicking here.