The 12 Female Artists to Know—& Follow Now
Be intentional with your art.
I’ve lived in the same New York City apartment since the day I moved here eight years ago. My art collection is this strange amalgamation of pieces from my childhood home that I took with me after college and works I’ve collected over the last several years as I refined my taste as an editor. While the artistic chaos has certainly felt like home, it doesn’t necessarily feel like me—not the me of today, anyway.
I’m moving into a new apartment in the fall, and what I’m most looking forward to is finally investing in meaningful art that represents who I’ve become. “Let’s call it the rebrand,” a friend of mine recently joked. The thing I love about art is its ability to give new life to a space. I’m an entirely different person than I was when I first moved to the city—in my years as a fashion and lifestyle editor and time spent traveling to other countries, my personal taste has developed with a clearer and more individualized point of view.
As an editor, I’m inherently conditioned to care not only about art, but the stories and people behind it. Instagram has been a valuable resource when it comes to discovering and learning about new artists. Some female artists I’ve followed for a long time– watching them as they quietly developed their craft and I developed mine. While these young female artists have very different points of view, their work breathes new life into a space.
Life evolves, and so should the walls in which you live; so I encourage you to be intentional with your art. What new life do you want to bring into your home? What’s the message you want to convey to your guests? What feels like you, today? From colorful abstracts to hotel room vibes to feminine curves and kitschy canvases, these 12 female artists have something for everyone.
Mexican artist Ana Leovy is deeply influenced by expressionism and fauvism and is known for her vibrant and cheerful acrylic paintings that you’ve likely seen translated into fashion, like in her collaboration with cult-favorite brand Tombolo. Her work is a celebration of diversity in all forms. Influenced by fashion, culture, dreams, and everyday life, Leovy uses color and shapes and the disruption of human form to reveal both internal and external beauty. The result is an explosion of color that will surely bring joy to any home.
Swiss-born and Parisian-based visual and performance artist Caroline Denervaud’s art is a reflection of her studies in dance. She allows the movement of her body to determine her brush stroke as the body’s movement directly reflects mood, energy, and feelings. The art, therefore, becomes almost rhythmic. “Then come the colors that create shapes and connections between them… My paintings are the reflection of an instant, a conversation and play between colors and shapes telling hidden poems and stories.”
Harlem-born Tschabalala Self’s work is a study of the Black female body in contemporary culture. “My subjects are fully aware of their conspicuousness and are unmoved by the viewer. Their role is not to show, explain, or perform, but rather ‘to be,’” says Self. “In being, their presence is acknowledged and their significance felt. My project is committed to this exchange, for my own edification and for the edification of those who resemble me.”
If for no other reason, following Camilla Engstrom’s Instagram will instantly put you in a good mood. From her kitschy and playful oil paintings to her daily dance moves, Camilla knows how to set good energy. Her landscape art is based on images she sees through meditating. She also paints a figure she calls Husa, which she describes as a Mother Earth figure who creates lakes and landscapes or just meditates and enjoys the sunshine. “I just want to give people good vibes through my work. It’s very simple! I believe when you’re in a good vibration, you help the world become better! The more people we can put in a good vibration, the better!”
Amsterdam-based artist Milou Neelen’s Hôtel Magique is a collection of playful summer holiday souvenirs turned art. This is the ultimate collection for those vacation-minded travelers who want to live constantly like they’re on a staycation. Outfitting your home with Neelen’s work gives you the sensation that comes from waking up in a hotel room: the relaxed comfort, the ease, the lightheartedness, and the excitement for the day ahead. “By not just offering art pieces, but creating a brand around Hôtel Magique, I am hoping every artwork takes you on a journey of long summer days and ‘magique’ hotel nights.”
Cathelijne Biskop, an autodidact artist and illustrator from the Netherlands, uses irregular and curved lines to convey the gracefulness, beauty, and dynamism of the female body and Mother Nature. “Painting has a healing effect on me; it feels like meditation most of the time,” admits Cathelijne. If her work can inspire a meditative and calming energy in one’s space, she’s happy with that.
Cassi Namoda is a visual and performance artist known for her figurative portraits of social dynamics and cultural and racial identity, as well as everyday life in post-colonial Mozambique, where she’s from. Her work made headlines this year as it graced the cover of Vogue Italia’s sustainability issue. “My work explores nativity—which is drawn to my birthplace of Mozambique. But it’s also very universal; there’s a feeling everyone can connect to. Color is a big part of it... I think a lot about what it might convey in a heartfelt sense to the viewer.”
For Picasso and Matisse lovers, art by Danish-born Christiane Spansberg is a worthy investment. There is an elegance in the simplicity of Spansberg’s abstract drawings, inspired by the single line used frequently by Picasso and Matisse. From her calming use of Spansberg blue and other pastel hues, to curvy lines and Picasso-like faces, there is a striking ode to femininity that comes through in her work. The complexity of the human psyche and its constant movement is her biggest inspiration, so her art is a filtered reflection of her evolving mind.
Bulgarian-born, Mallorcan-based artist Anna-Alexandra’s art is inspired by her passion for ancient culture, mythology, and philosophy. “I’m always thinking of how to reach and express through abstraction the sublime feeling of the relationship between nature and feminine energy—the same energy as in ancient myths,” says the artist. “In my work one can see various interpretations of primordial female goddesses.”
Originally from Sweden and Tunisia, France-based artist Zahra Holm’s abstract oil paintings are a tribute to the essence of femininity. She uses warm, bold colors and curvy lines to reflect the beauty and power of women and bring forth questions surrounding beauty ideals. “I don’t expect people to feel a certain way when around my art,” says Holm. “That’s what’s so nice about abstract art—everyone can see and feel different things. The most important for me, maybe, is that you feel a sense of freedom.”
For model and artist Torin Ashtun, her art is her visual diary. She uses abstracts to express her emotions and experiences, so while viewers aren’t able to make out the messages, they can enjoy the colors and geometric shapes in which she conveys them. She also has a Youtube channel that invites her followers into her creative process.
Katrina Klerks finds balance in imperfections with her minimalist abstract art which can now be found in leading design hotels like Lou Pinet in St Tropez. She likes to keep her art light and positive—maintaining an elegant simplicity in any space it ends up in. “I don’t mind if my art is called decorative. Every work has its story, but it is never profound or heavy. I also never want to make my work complicated. My work blends in a room easily or is bought as a memento of a special moment,” says Klerks.
Top photo: Courtesy of Cassi Namoda
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