Art. One word that could change the world. No matter what language you speak, art is a universal language that is recognised by all.
One question however, is where are all the women? Like most institutions, males are seen to prominently maintain a control over it -engulfing talent from influential female artists under a cloak of invisibility and patriarchy. Everyone remembers Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh, Leonardo Di Vinci but not Elizabeth Carlett, Frida Kahlo, or Georgia O’Keeffe. Most famous painters and artists are predominantly white males and Eurocentric, which is problematic as it squashes out inspiring talented female artists from around the world.
Frida Kahlo’s popularity has boomed on the Internet and social media sites. Girls are seen quoting her under their images on Instagram without truly realising the main point Kahlo was trying to make. A Mexican self portrait artist has become of the leading icon of feminism. Proud of her Mexican roots, she is a inspiring figure to Latin American women all over the world. Applauded for her honesty and bravery she depicts herself, the way she is rather than the way she wants to be portrayed to please people.
Artist and sculptor Elizabeth Catlett not only celebrates famous African Americans like Harriet Tubman and Malcolm X, but she uses her art to represent the African American community by creating thought-provoking work such as ‘Negro Woman’, ‘Sharecropper’ and ‘Survivor’.
In a time where racism was at its peak, Catlett was speaking out against prejudice and discrimination against African Americans, empowering them and depicting them as actual humans rather than commodities.
And lastly, Georgia O’Keeffe, one of the most significant and intriguing artists of all time, is known internationally for her brave and innovative art works which lead her to become a leading lady during the 20th century.
Her creative construction of nature, awe-striking cityscapes and glowing landscapes are all part of the American Modernism—a style of art that departed significantly from the traditions of the past.
Female artists are thankfully on the up-rise, competing fairly alongside the big male names. We’d love to hear who your favorite female artist is!
Words: Naseema Khanom
Source 3 africanah.org
Source 4: artandwomensp2015.blogspot.com
Source 5: http://www.okeeffemuseum.org
Source 6: http://www.okeeffemuseum.org