The Kahlo Alternatives

Most people would be able to pick out an iconic Frida Kahlo or a floral (vaginal) Georgia o Keefe. But there are extraordinary, women, artists who use their artwork to express their views who are much less celebrated, but they equally deserve to be talked about!

Whilst I can completely understand why most women would choose Kahlo to idolise (we all know how wonderfully amazing her story and her art is) but lets face it, she is now fashionable. Most people with a Kahlo poster might not actually know anything about her life or why she is revered as a symbol of femininity and strength, so I have recently been keeping my eye open for female artists who put as much love, symbolism & controversy in their work. I have two new favourites & I couldn’t wait to share them!

On a recent trip to the Tate Modern in Liverpool, I discovered a artist called Sanja Ivekovic & her photography collection titled Double Life.

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This collection of photographs is literally the meme ‘expectation vs reality’ from before the internet existed. Her art was always seen to be taking on how women where seen in the media and how their ‘roles’ were depicted.

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Showing magazine adverts, aimed at women, with unrealistic imagery. These adverts show women posing, in full glam of course, carrying out ‘day-to-day’ tasks. These are then compared, side by side with images of real women, doing the same thing. Addressing the unrealistic advertising that even magazines today are filled with. From eating a strawberry, looking in a mirror, talking with friends or reading a newspaper. These side by side comparisons are the original ‘expectations vs reality’ making fun of the unrealistic visions of ‘normal women’ in advertising. 

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The next artist which I have recently discovered is  Paula Rego. This Portuguese born, now British artist is a women who has took women’s issue on through her art, but someone who I had never even heard of until a couple of months ago.

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Her imagery was one of the factors which led to abortions being legalised in Portugal. She created images showing real women undergoing illegal abortions & the risks they go through, to do so. These strong images are, even today, relevant & important. 

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Both of these amazing artists have a large back catalogue of stunning work, which are well worth celebrating. There are so many amazing women artists who have always had Feminism at the forefront of their work and these are my current favourites! Have a look at the links below, to see more of their work.

Sanja Ivekovic

Paula Rego


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