Graffiti is often deemed to be a man’s world. Due to firm social beliefs that equate street art with acts of vandalism and rebellion, it is taken for granted that men will be on the forefront in this field. However, the upcoming breed of super successful women street artists has challenged both these myths. Street art is no more a bad practice than it is a male-dominated market.
Female artists are using street art as a medium for creative and social expression and making gender discrimination a thing of past. In our feature with online graffiti magazine and store Bombing Science, we profile five of these incredibly talented and creative women who are leading the pack.
1. Maya Hayuk
Do you know why we decided to start this list with her? Well, aside from the fact that Maya Hayuk is an extremely talented female street artist, she is also a feminist who refuses to work with art galleries who showcase less than 10% of female artists! Hayuk is known for her vividly colorful designs, often in geometric patterns created on massive surfaces. The work of this American artist from Brooklyn can be seen worldwide.
2. Lady Aiko
Born and brought up in Tokyo in Japan, Lady Aiko now resides and works from Brooklyn. Her work is an interesting mix of spray paint, stencilling, brushwork, collage, and serigraphs. She uses her street art to raise gender inequality and other social issues and enlighten and engage people on them.
3. Shamsia Hassani
‘I want to colour over the bad memories of war’, said Shamsia Hassani, a graffiti artist and teacher from Afghanistan, who has worked to bring color to war-torn Kabul. With her work, Hassani is inspiring millions of women. Her endeavor shows immense courage as she chooses to create street art in a place where it is often dangerous to even walk. Always under threat for her work being called as ‘un-Islamic’, she is known to complete her work within 15 minutes to avoid public harassment. She incorporates the ‘Burqa’ beautifully into her work.
One of the most popular internationally acclaimed street artist, Faith47 from South Africa is self-taught! Her work is symbolic in nature and through it, she strives to bring to core many important issues such as injustice, political problems, female issues, poverty, environmental destruction, inequality and complexities of human conditions. The life and spirit of her murals set her work apart from all others.
5. Miss Van
French street artist Miss Van, who now resides in Barcelona, is known for the unique poupées, or dolls in her work. While her work continues to remain controversial due to her portrayal of sexuality, she has undoubtedly increased the representation of women in street art. Anything but unconventional, Miss Van’s works celebrates women in many ways. The full figured females depict body positivity and break convention. With her bold portrayal of different human emotions such as eroticism and innocence, she has managed to bridge the gap between street art and fine art.