In 1989, feminist activists the Guerrilla Girls famously reported that less than 5% of the works in the Modern Art sections of the Met were by female artists—but that 85% of the nudes were women. In 2012, the group did a recount. The numbers had barely changed.
This year, Absolut Art and Tictail are joining forces to call attention to the narrow lens through which women are depicted in art, and scrutinized in the world at large. Now more than ever, it’s essential that women reclaim their autonomy, raise their voices, and share their own perceptions of multidimensional femininity.
As part of a neighborhood takeover called Women × Women, we asked 11 female artists from across the globe to create a self-portrait or a piece representing her own unique understanding of the female experience. Then, we exhibited each in a Lower East Side location where it can’t be missed. If you can’t find it on a museum wall, you’ll find it here.
Find the art
Meet the artists
Mural: 90 Orchard St, New York, NY
In “This Woman Is Not Who She Seems to Be,” Los Angeles artist and author Miranda July encourages observers to interact with her art by responding to her words.
Mural: 88 Orchard St, New York, NY
“Fight,” by Stockholm photographer Jenny Källman, shows a group of women, some with sticks in hand, obscured by shadows. They seem to look toward something beyond the frame, but Källman leaves the details—who, where, why, and what’s next—to the viewer.
Mural: 85 Orchard St, New York, NY
In “That Cool Breeze,” Los Angeles illustrator Carly Kuhn celebrates the power of female friendship—and the comfort, support, and liberation it can provide—with impactful, intentional simplicity.
Mural: 92 Orchard St, New York, NY
By painting herself as “a primitive and strong creature,” Barcelona’s Maria Herreros challenges deeply ingrained ideas of what constitutes feminine identity. “People may feel it’s an aggressive image,” she says. “I invite them to ask themselves why.”
Mural: 93 Orchard St, New York, NY
NYC artist Elise Peterson reimagines the past in the context of evolving notions of blackness, intimacy, and cross-generational narratives. Here, she reclaims mammy, an antiquated archetype assigned to the female Black American experience.
Mural: 143 Ludlow St, New York, NY
In a drawing resembling a vintage ad, Los Angeles illustrator Jeanette Getrost puts men in the foreground and women in the back—a nod to the unchanging nature of the way women are depicted in the media, and the unwanted male attention many face regularly.
Mural: 120 Essex St, New York, NY
Memory is a recurring theme in NYC painter Kristin Texeira’s work. Fittingly, her self-portrait pays homage to the past with symbols of several strong mother figures who’ve helped define her journey to the present.
Mural: 92 Ludlow St, New York, NY
NYC’s Shawna X applies her signature brights to a commentary on the ubiquity of the selfie—a modern form, some say, of self-portraiture: “I can't ignore that it’s a signifier of change and progress in a culture that’s in sync with technology.”
Mural: 54 Orchard St, New York, NY
Berlin’s Andrea Wan celebrates a collective experience of female transformation with a portrait that captures the ever-evolving artist “at this moment in time, with full gratitude for being here now.”
Malin Gabriella Nordin
Mural: 22 Orchard St, New York, NY
In “Can you grab smoke?”, Stockholm mixed media artist Malin Gabriella Nordin uses cut-outs from the work of radical painter Sigrid Hjertén (1885 -1948), who continued to make art despite facing the prejudices of her time.
Mural: Corner of Hester St + Essex St, New York, NY
From Carla Fuentes of Valencia, Spain: a portrait showcasing the artist’s trademark use of striking color, bold lines, and unapologetic, amplified features.