Good afternoon everyone and happy Friday!
This week's theme is UNAPOLOGETIC ART. Art that is bold, art that is true to itself and art that does not give a flying fuck. Art always has a motive behind it; be it political, social, personal or whatever. However, I think it's what an artist does with their art which has the most impact.
- Keep it in a sketchbook for your eyes only? A good source of inspiration and empowerment for the individual to realign any goals/motives.
- Post it on social media with bold brass statements whipping up a conversational storm on topics you are passionate about? Immensely Powerful (even if you only have a few followers).
- Best of all, having the air and grace of not being sorry for the art you create and the message you put out to the world.
The three artists I have chosen today are some of my favourites so I hope you love them.
Fun fact! I spotted the 'boss life' babe whilst stumbling down the streets of North Amsterdam. The sticker culture there kinda reminds me of Manchester. It's an eclectic mix of vibrant, random artwork promoting the likes of artists and musicians as well as reclaiming public space. I especially love the colour clash of her red thigh-high boots and the baby pink brick wall. I guess no one is ever too old for stickers.
Art by Florence Given - More from this artist
... And if you didn't know what I was up to, then you definitely know now!
This artist has taken the last couple of years by storm. At only 20 years old and dressed head to toe in leopard print, Florence Given has perfected her playful babe illustrations with matching empowering slogans. Her artwork just oozes confidence, cheekiness, and charm. You may have heard about this artist in her campaign against the Netflix fat-shaming series 'Insatiable' back in 2018. This took OFF and gave Florence's voice a platform to raise awareness on other important issues regarding feminism, sexuality, privilege, and relationships.
Her distinctive illustration style tends to depict ladies and femmes with luscious long eyelashes, Georgia May Jagger tooth gaps, and pouty lips. The icing on the cake is the fabulous style of typeface used for Florence's slogans. I would argue that the groovy vibe of the sixties is a key inspiration for this. Across her artwork, the colour palette is not restricted in the slightest, however, hot pink and buttercup yellow are recurring favourites. She creates prints, totes, tees and phone cases so that her followers can wear and support her mantras (like the ones listed below) in style.
WOMEN DO NOT EXIST TO SATISFY THE MALE GAZE.
and MAYBE IT'S A GIRL CRUSH, MAYBE YOU'RE QUEER.
You can see what this artist is trying to articulate and therefore, educate through her work. She draws from previous toxic relationships and past trauma to make sure other gal pals know that they should be always be treated like a goddess of womanly divine proportions. If not, then get. rid. of. him. She even coined the satirical phrase 'hetrified', cheekily playing on the idea that those who identify as heterosexual do some of the most mind-boggling things whilst also imposing this on others who don't e.g. make-believe kiddy marriages.
What's more, her debut book/feminist bible 'Women Don't Owe You Pretty' is out now. In a few short words it 'is an accessible leap into feminism, for people at all stages of their journey who are seeking to reshape and transform the way they view themselves.' I have mad respect for someone who evolves their artwork from one form into another. It's definitely on my reading list.Art source
Art by Eliza Hopewell - More from this artist
Eliza Hopewell Plates
Boobs, bums, body hair, fat rolls, "unladylike" postures and dildos galore- it's Eliza Hopewell Plates! This artist's USP is that she creates marvelous designs, like the image above, on plates. The London based artist showcases her talent on Instagram alongside punny captions and videos of her dancing. She also offers infrequent glimpses of her personal life allowing you to frame the life of a millennial artist with outtakes from her studio.
Looking at her work, the friends, lovers, sisters (or however you want to class them) hang out in bathrooms, gardens, bedrooms and the seaside to name but a few locations. They come in all different shapes, shades, and sizes which adds depth to the paintings. What's cool about Eliza's work is that there doesn't seem to be a consistent colour scheme with some pieces left just as a blue outline.
Looking at the image above, these ladies seem to be sharing what could be considered as quite an intimate moment together to someone who hasn't lived through the female experience. Yet for many women, their actions can be recognised as rather normal activities, just gals just being gals. I think it's refreshing to see women just lazing about or slouching in a position that isn't so sexy to the eye. It's a reminder that we all like to slob about every so often, breaking barriers on how women should act in public spaces. Given the prudish nature of British culture, you could argue that what makes her work so unapologetic is the excessive nudity, sexual pleasure and female body hair on show. I just love it. I think it's a great conversation starter between friends.
Interested? Her price for a commission piece may seem steep at £500 but it truly is a one of a kind plate. She also sells other designs of ladies and men dressed and in the nude having a dance, a smoke or watching tv with their families, etc. for a lower price. Check out what she did for the most recent royal wedding! I have one of her fabulous A3 prints captioned 'The Patron Saint of Having a Fiddle'... I'll leave that to your imagination.Art source
Art by Exotic Cancer - More from this artist
First things first, this is not a post promoting nor denying those who do sex work. This is a conversation about an artist who uses their own experiences to create really cool art that exacerbates some of the realities of a sex worker.
Under the pseudonym of Exotic Cancer, their artistic brand is like no other I've come across. Their illustrations depict out-of-this-world women in various colours like pink, blue and purple. They use clumpy hooker heels to bat away advances from their sleazier clients and roll their eyes at unlikely promises in return for an extra slice of tongue and cheek (quite literally). The overall dystopian feel of the images plays on the idea that these strippers resemble, and therefore are treated like, robots not human beings. In other words, behind all the glitz and glam of nightlife, you are just left with crooked toes and stubbly crotches disguised with brightly painted nails and diamante studded g-strings.
One thing I noticed is how the only time you tend to see the colour green in the artist's designs is for dollar bills. It is telling of a lucrative business, subject to talent and management no doubt. In a dog-eat-dog world, everyone and anyone does what they need to do to earn a living. Exotic Cancer uses phrases like 'I'll be nice if you pay me' juxtaposed by its cutesy Barbie-like font on baby pink crop-tops. It gives us a glimpse of the true sentiment towards money and power in the sex industry. Also, the artist regularly teases the ridiculous nature of female nipple censorship. They have one almost comical sketch of a woman getting nipple replacement surgery because showing male nipples is never an issue. The question remains: So why should male nips on female tits cause any controversy?
Some of their work is definitely designed to shock. There are images of unborn fetuses, spilling tampons and surgical procedures. One could describe it as a social commentary of hardships and dilemmas women can face regardless of their occupation. I, for one, would not want to be entertaining paying customers by flipping myself upside down on a pole with that constant fear of my tampon leaking.
Lastly, I have to mention the Hooker Sphinx cat which occasionally pops up. 1. It is such a creative concept and 2. it acts as an emblematic mascot for those who dabble in the art of stripping. You can support this artist by buying their eclectic range of merchandise. A t-shirt for your sister and a butt-plug for your boyfriend a.k.a Christmas 2020 sorted!Art source
Hi, I'm Poppy
Feminism, creativity, exploring the world & having a good time are really important to me. If you liked the above, why not subscribe to my newsletter? This is just the beginning.