Frida Kahlo. Kara Walker. Annie Lebievtoz. Yoko Ono. Audrey Kawasaki. Female artists run the world, because like all women, everything comes from them. In celebration of women around the world, and in conjunction with our recent Girls, Girls, Girls issue we took the opportunity to speak with some of our favorite artists, male or female, about the artists that inspired them.
Camille rose Garcia us one of my favorite female artists because I like her illustrative style and can relate to the content of her work. She is the same age as me and grew up very close to where I did in a suburb not too far from Disneyland. I admire her evolving career from illustration to fine art and mixing the two genres.
First off, I respect the fact that Camille has been a prolific illustrator and artist for many years and I admire artists who commit to their work and style from an early age. I can relate to her dismal subject matter with narratives played out by adorable, dark animals and creatures. She explores the element of fantasy, with sticky sweet characters that embody dark vs. light, and I enjoy the balance and tension between good and evil. I am also drawn to her use of black organic shapes that are contrasted by cheery colors in a palette of my favorite colors – pinks and turquoises. I find connection with these qualities because they are some of the same traits found in my own work, but she explores different narratives and has a style of her own. She has created very interesting cartoon-like characters from elongated dark princesses to evil sea creatures and I love how she unveils the sad truths when the bubble of idealism is popped.
There are a lot of great female artists that I’m a fan of, from the famous French Rococo painter, Vigée Le Brun, who was the portrait painter for Marie Antionette, to the down and dirty twenty-something year old Aurel Schmidt, who lives and works in Brooklyn. There is also Eva Hesse, Louise Bourgeois, Annette Messager and the list goes on. I find inspiration from artwork that explores dualities, whether it is beauty/ugliness, pleasure/pain, feminine/masculine, naughty/nice or life/death.
I was trying to decide between Barbara Kruger and Lorna Simpson; Kruger won, and I’ll tell you why. Barbara Kruger is very graphic in every sense of the word. I really enjoy Kruger’s work because it is visually appealing and provides an ironic, witty and caustic commentary about popular culture that still resonates with contemporary society.
Audrey Kawasaki is definitely my favorite female artist. And I love her painting technique.