Image/ painting by Reinilde Jonkhout
How many femxle street artists can you name? After reading this article, maybe a few more.
The massive MaestraPeace Mural on the Women’s Building in San Francisco was a collaborative 1994 work between the Bay Area muralists Juana Alicia, Miranda Bergman, Edythe Boone, Susan Kelk Cervantes, Meera Desai, Yvonne Littleton and Irene Perez. With this mural, the community center outwardly reflects the courageous contributions of womxn through time and around the world.
While street art is sensitive to destruction, the MaestraPeace Mural was restored in 2012. The upside is that street art is accessible, both literally and figuratively. It is freely available in public space, and the art of the well-known street artist Banksy is also lauded by people who otherwise might not be attracted or have access to more traditional art forms. Street artist Bambi is compared to Banksy. Hopefully there will be a day when the roles are reversed.
Read more about the use of the word Womxn on my About page.
Talented womxn muralists
Mural arts may be used for gentrification and raising property prices in certain neighborhoods, and street art has also been co-opted by brands to sell their wares. Besides what it might or might not be good for, does street art have a masculine connotation traditionally? This article shows femxle muralists who often have a strong connection to visual art.
One of Maya Hayuk’s inspirations are traditional Ukrainian crafts. Her murals often seem to weave together colors organically and she has a recognizable signature style. Aside from street murals and exhibiting in museums she has also created art for musicians suchs as Devandra Banhart, The Beastie Boys and Seun Kuti. In 2015 Maya Hayuk unsuccessfully sued Starbucks for appropriation of her work.
The abstract impressionist florals of Denver based artist Ashley Joon are uniquely her own, offering a dreamy and light reprieve from concrete realities. Having left a corporate career far behind her, let’s hope that Ashley Joon adorns the world with many more murals.
Brazilian artist Panmela Castro was one of the first women to climb buildings in Brazil and leave her graffiti tags on them. After her dad went bankrupt when she was 15, she lived in a slum and was drawing portraits on the street for cash. Panmela Castro’s work is often personal or advocating for human rights, she started making her murals after having experienced domestic violence. This Miami mural depicting police violence was unfortunately painted over the day after it was painted because officers took offense.
Queen Andrea is a graphic designer with a passion for letter design. Her murals are attractive and are often commissioned by cities and corporations.
Using the wheat paste technique, Swoon attacked the streets with feminine magical realism paper art works from 1999 on.
San Francisco visual artist Nicole Mueller doesn’t just bring a little color into the world. Watch the video above to witness the process (and the end, sadly) of her making the mural. It’s great to see her combine techniques, using what seems to be diluted paint in combination with airbrushing. Be sure to check out Nicole Mueller’s paintings and use of collage and transparent colored materials as well.
Anis and Wend are Chilean street artists Abusa Crew. They battle it out against machismo in their vivacious art often depicting feminine figures.
Clare Rojas seems to challenge herself to tell stories via minimal abstraction, and works on canvas a lot, but more wall art would be welcome. How stunning is this mosaic bird?
@clarerojasart on Instagram
What else is there to say?
If art that is considered offensive will be taken off the street, or are not given space in institutions, it understandably leaves womxn artists no other choice than to go about it illegally. Also, it would be better if funding also allowed for more long-lasting outdoor mural projects in the realm of visual art, rather than merely being a temporary pretty band-aid. In any case, I’m looking forward to this documentary about femxle street artists and so should you!
Who are your favourite womxn street artists?
Curious about my art? Surf to www.reinilde.com/art