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Carving Out a Space

by Allison Miller

With increasing amounts of shows and artistic communities springing up, more and more female and non-binary artists are creating their own spaces to showcase their art. In the traditionally male-dominated art world, these artists would often struggle to get shows, or be labeled as token “female artists.” With their push into the spotlight, these artists are helping to create a future where all artists are treated fairly and equally. This art is often colorful, joyful and representative of the female spirit. The following artists are people making a name for themselves in the art world, not in spite of the fact that they are non-male artists, but in celebration of it.

Grace Miceli

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Grace Miceli, aka Art Baby Girl, has been blowing up the young New York art scene for a few years now. After graduating college in 2011, she started Art Baby Gallery, an online gallery showcasing internet friends like Tavi Gevinson and Petra Collins’ art. Since then, she has built a sizable Instagram following based off posts of her work (and her awesome pet lizard). Miceli’s art embodies the current intersection of pop culture and the critical and artistic worlds, with marker drawings often pairing popular snack foods with Drake quotes or sex toys. Since opening the online gallery, Miceli has organized two popular live shows: first, Girls at Night on The Internet, and more recently What a Time to Be Alive. The second of which invited a collab between Sunday Los Angeles and Slow Culture, two alternative art houses in Los Angeles.

Petra Collins

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Petra Collins has done so much in the past few years it’s hard to determine where to begin. From appearing on shows like Transparent with Clem from Cherry Glazerr, to directing Carly Rae Jepson’s music video “Boy Problems,” to being one of the first people to speak up about Instagram’s unfair censoring of the female body, Collins’ has established herself as an artistic force to be reckoned with. With pink and pastel filters, her ambient and colorful film is a constant celebration of femininity. She often rebels against the media’s appropriation of the female body by photographing women expressing their sexuality for themselves, not for a man. Collins has also been featured in magazines like Nylon and Dazed, and recently walked in Gucci’s Fall 2016 fashion show.

Ada Rajkovic

Ada Rajkovic is an artist and curator of the former Sunday Los Angeles art space. Although now in search for a new location, the space previously showcased many female artists, including Grace Miceli for the What a Time to Be Alive show. In the two years Rajkovic ran Sunday, it featured over 20 shows, including solo exhibits from the likes of Audrey Wollen, Yung Jake and Sofia Arreguin. The space also hosted community workshops for children of the L.A. area to come do art and sing karaoke. Sunday plans to reopen in fall, when hopefully they can continue to showcase the work of emerging alternative artists.

Hobbes Ginsberg

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Hobbes Ginsberg is a Los Angeles-based photographer and filmmaker, whose work is shockingly colorful, punk and celebratory of queer identity. Her photography was included in the What a Time to Be Alive show, and showcased in magazines like Dazed, Vice, Logo and the Huffington Post. Maybe most importantly, she created an “L.A. based production company with purpose,” named Red Lighter Films, whose goal it is to incorporate intersectional feminism into cinema. Through Red Lighter, Ginsberg collaborated on a short film called “All Encompassing and Everywhere,” a superhero movie that explores issues of mental health while supporting inclusive feminism.

Ambar Navarro

Artist and animator Ambar Navarro is known for her work celebrating themes similar to Girls at Night on the Internet. She often uses similar stylistic choices to Petra Collins, like pink and seemingly delicate color schemes in her photography. Navarro also incorporates lots of technology and social media in her work, often taking iPhones and iPads and combining them with typically feminine objects like roses and glitter in beautiful displays. Her artwork, often showcased online, is another illustration of the freedom given to women through the internet, which she believes should be seen as a powerful tool rather than a trivial pastime. Overall, Ambar embraces modern “selfie culture” in appropriately empowering and stylistic fashion.

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