When I was a gawky teenager, studying art, there were only few names that belong to women which (with difficulty) have found their way to the surface of my education. Even if learning about art has passed you by, popular culture has only a small number of figures that circulate and are vivid enough to recall. Think on it. Which females come to mind? Rule breakers in the likes of Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keeffe or Louise Bourgeois. Artists that made it into the celebrity status - Tracey Emin, Marina Abramovic and Annie Leibovitz. On the contrary, if you happened to be asked about artists in general, men would dominate the list. Recognition is something that females struggle with regardless of the chosen field, but here is a fun fact: in American and British art galleries only 5 per cent of work on permanent exhibition is by women. 

If you to think of one emerging female, ‘upbeat artist’, you might have turned to your social feeds. The contemporary weapon of recognition and validation is sadly counted on the number of followers and engagement. Creatives alike strive on the gut feeling of constant improvement and perfectionism. With that said, if the creative is bound to have a solid following of supporters in a scheme of hearts, commentary, and private sales via DMs, there is, to a certain degree, an equilibrium. !

No credit due rises even then. There is a high chance that you have seen an image of a gorgeous brunette laying in the heart shaped bathtub, sinking in the white, soapy water. Juno Calypso has shot the image as a part of her series Joyce, where she self-portraits the absurdity of the conformist femininity. Her artwork is now a part of a millennial pink culture, “tumblered" around with zero acknowledgement. “You have probably seen my art on someone’s else’s account” reads in the profile header of a cultural phenomena Sarah Bahbah. She was the spearhead in raw story telling via imagery of females explicitly lingering with pizza in white bed sheets, candid portraits of womanhood with closed captions in the manner of a movie frame. Kamya Meha’s delicate, modern illustrations with pure boldness, honour the female shape and sexuality; might strike as something you have seen some place before (merch?). Artworks, caked in unnecessary ‘vintage’ filters and over-shared quotes - and I hate to break this to you, which do not belong to Marilyn Monroe, are not as much empowering but demolishing to the art piece created, objectifying the intensity by mere digital population.!

There is a thin line between integrity and semi-fame among the Instagram users. We live in an age when a female artist has more choices of exposure than ever. Yet, how come our recognition still fails to distinct?!

written by Masha Nova