Four Female illustrators to Get Inspired And Celebrate Womanhood
Historically, women have been portrayed in art mostly as creatures of seduction. This is likely due to the old-fashioned, male-led, notions of advertising; minimizing women to be nothing more than hyper-sexualized and submissive beings with the mission to give.
In the past there have been some artists, like Klimt, that depicted all forms of femininity. Modern art has showcased women in a myriad of ways. Still, there is a new crop of boundary-breaking females that feel there is a lot more to say.
These four female artists have made it their mission to represent women in all of their multidimensional splendor: as diverse, intelligent beings, who feel love and experience loss, who explore relationships, sexuality and even fashion in today's frantic world.
Far from championing unrealistic body standards, mechanical poses and complacent expressions, women like New York based illustrator Amber Vittoria are "dismantling societal tropes set upon women," and are not afraid to present the intricate complexities of the female world while painting a full picture of body positivity.
With a colour palette of predominantly warm hues, Vittoria showcases long-limbed women with their full-body hair in all of their curvy glory. Her delightful sartorial displays of voluptuous characters wearing lingerie, bathing suits and other form-fitting pieces, are a refreshing reminder that no one needs to dictate our size and shape.
Meanwhile, stripped of both clothes and colour, Frances Cannon's drawings of women are a safe place to reveal the raw, queer identity of her characters. The Australian artist depicts not only the female body and its vital functions, but she's expanded her range of characters to include women who identify themselves as outsiders of traditional societal norms.
Cannon's impact cannot be overlooked. Many of her fans have gone as far getting tattoos of her drawings to state their true liberation from society's often-narrow views of female identity and sexuality.
For her part, Spanish native Paula Bonet takes it a step further by making vulvas and nipples the absolute protagonists of the canvas. Although she first became known for her eye-catching pen and water-colour illustrations of whimsical girls with flushed cheeks, she's recently set those aside to depict embryos in her stark testimony of the often silenced reality of gestational losses.
The Valencia-born artist has also taken to writing, touching on the subject of miscarriage by recounting her personal experience in her book titled Rodents. Pregnant body without a Foetus.
In absolute peace with her anatomy and ideas, the work of New York based Kelly Beeman is a breath of fresh air. Her women stylishly don the trends of the season, but they don't use fashion to seduce, but instead as a tool to express themselves on their own terms.
Both in watercolours and oil paintings, her characters of almond shaped-eyes and perfectly straight noses, recount stories of sisterhood and female empowerment while exploring the significance of trends and appearance in modern culture.
One of Beeman’s most celebrated works is the “Sister Series” an illustrated fashion editorial commissioned by Marie Claire Italy in 2016. In each unique painting she takes from her own family experience to explore the lives of four sisters, their relationships with each other and their individuality.
Whether it's whimsical and light or raw and emotionally charged, the work of these fantastic artists is not only an authentic representation of each of their personalities. It is much more; they undress thoughts that convey a much needed message of sisterhood, self-acceptance and body positivity.