Last year someone asked me who inspired me. And I had mostly male painters on my mind. Since then, I made it a habit to pay attention to the female artists. Their styles, their messages and careers. But most importantly their work. I started a list of female artists that I deeply admire and I wanted to share my top 5 so far. All these women are still alive, some are established with a beautiful career behind them, and some have a fabulous one still ahead! I have not yet explored the territory of art historians (i.e. dead artists), with whom I dare not compete.
Carmen Herrera is one of the few and most committed to the creative world. She sold her first painting when she was 70, now that is something! Her style is unmistakably minimalist. The geometric shapes are sharp, but telling. The colors, although contrasting, seem so fluid on the canvas. Hers are the kind of paintings I would buy. I discovered Carmen’s work at the Whitney Museum in New York and you would not believe when I tell you that she is a centernarian. I am honored and humble to have enjoyed her exhibition last year.
Chantal Joffe is simply inspiring. A figurative painter that is not afraid to have an exhibition with megapaintings of her naked self, and be there for the opening. I wouldn’t dare, even if $1 million was on the line. Her paintings are not pages out of coloring books. She starts and finishes them all in one go, without pencil or charcoal, just her and the oils. Chantal paints the feeling of family, mothers and daughters, what she is and has around her.
Jasmine Pradissito (@ingeniusideas) is the quantum artist. With a doctorate in physics and engineering from UCL, she is really one of the few that can probably read a high-level peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Quantum Pysics and use its findings in creating her next sculpture. She doesn’t boast about her background, nor claims to convert science into art, but when you are surrounded by her work, you really feel like you are in the lab of the future.
I discovered Valéria Becker (@VBeckerart) at the London Art Fair. Her paintings are overwhelming with emotion; they are loud and in your face! All I could think of was the depth and the size of these emotions, literally. Whilst her color palette is bright and quite close to the human skin tones, she uses expressive brushstrokes, adding to the intensity and fervour of the expressions depicted. The size, the size was simply devastating; I could definitely experience the ‘close-up and personal’.
You cannot NOT love Elizabeth Blackadder’s flower compositions. So subtle and yet beautifully detailed and life-like, you almost want to smell them. Elizabeth is an octogenarian, and the first woman to be part of the Royal Scottish Academy and the Royal Academy of Arts. Her fabulous career and the profuse work speaks for itself. And if someone prints and paints cala lillies with such grace and impeccable technique, she’s got my vote!
There are many more female artists that I am looking forward to discover and I am hoping my list will grow to a million! A million fine and brave living female artists from around the world. If you have favorites, talk about them in your comments!