Brooklyn-based artist Lorna Simpson produces visual works that both isolate and confront conventional views on identity, ethnicity, and history. A majority of her recent work portrays black American women casually posed in standalone scenes or everyday interactions, inviting viewers—herself included—to question what divisions exist between society's past and present.
Traditional print markets are dwindling, but even as publications struggle, there is a growing appreciation for beautifully printed materials...stores are brimming with letterpress cards, silkscreened wares, and archival prints of artist works. Illustrators have to create a lot of this work themselves. They have to be entrepreneurs, designers, communicators, gallery artists, and product designers. It's always exciting to be able to use more of your brain in your work, and one of the benefits of this changing market is that some of the best artists are creating an inventive, fluid, and savvy business of illustration.
I want Bitch to remain a vital part of the market for artists...
Sophia Wallace is a photographer living and working in New York City. Wallace uses photography and portraiture to challenge normative assumptions about gender, race, and heteronormativity. I could probably write a blog post on each of her series, the photographs are so striking. Instead, I'll highlight a few of them and I encourage you to visit her site and browse yourself.
I fall more in love with the work of Catherine Eyde every time I look at her art. Her colorful renditions of women, creatures and landscapes both ordinary and fantastical walk the line between twee and haunting, like a gorgeous, uneasy mixture of Grimm's fairy tales, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and feminist sci-fi.
Susan 15 #1, Shatila Refugee Camp Beirut, 2010
Rania Matar is a Lebanese-born photographer who currently lives and and teaches in Massachusetts. In a recent interview she said, "I was 11 when the war started and like most children was resilient enough to learn to live with it. It just became a fact of life and then things would be peaceful and life would be normal again and we all forgot about the war till it struck again." This take on what constitutes "normal" has led Matar to use photography to explore the everyday lives of women and children as a window into the world at large. Her photography projects in the Middle East has covered refugee camps, Christian Arabs, and a far more diverse representation of women and the veil than Western mainstream media ever feels like portraying. In her new project, "A Girl and Her Room," she is re-celebrating the everyday in a new way by taking portraits of young women in their bedroom, from Massachusetts to the Middle East.
Swoon works in a combination of wheat-paste and paper cutout to create life-sized, figurative and graphic street art with strength and femininity. While a great deal of her work has been done outside the confines of a gallery, she was classically trained as a painter before adopting street art techniques.
The artist formerly known as Caledonia Curry studied painting at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and started doing street art around 1999 at age 19. She's also a member of the Justseeds Artists' Cooperative, a grass-roots, decentralized group of artists who believe in art as both personal expression and collective action. This group contributes graphics to struggles for justice, both in the studio and on the streets, collaboratively and individually, all over North America.