The alias often doesn't indicate the gender. It might be the reason why we don't have a clear idea of how many women street artists are actually out there. Some artists do not announce their feminine identity, feeling that being a woman shouldn’t change the perception of their art.
By all means, the street art is no longer the exclusive boy’s club. It took some time, but the time has come. Graffiti art is being increasingly taken over by women and girls are literally leaving their mark in the public sphere.
Our list only scratches the surface. We are sure that we have overlooked many great and promising women who are street artists, which may be a good excuse for a new article, but these ten girls are pushing the boundaries of urban art at the moment. Working in diverse styles and media, some of them consciously advocate feminine element in street art, while others go beyond gender.
Maya Hayuk is a feminist who will not work with galleries who exhibit less than 10% female artists. Hayuk is known for her massively scaled abstract murals characterized by intricate patterns, symmetrical compositions and super bright colors. Her work can be found all over the world.
Swoon is known for her instantly recognizable life-sized wheat-paste prints – all hand cut - of highly detailed figures situated on walls and abandoned buildings in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Being an activist and humanitarian, Swoon’s work reflects the social and environmental issues. Her art is inspired by both art historical and folk sources and largely based on the pictures as reference, ranging from German Expressionist wood block prints to Indonesian shadow puppets.
Coming from Germany, Hera (Jasmin Siddiqui) is a member of the Herakut crew, together with Akut (Falk Lehma). Since 2004, the two have combined their diametrically opposite styles to make a difference on the contemporary art scene. Hera does the outlines and defines the position and the whole composition of the art piece. In other words, she builds the skeleton and Akut adds the flesh and the skin. By combining their styles – Hera’s rough and sketchy structures and Akut’s photo-realistic details – the two produce an edgy fantasy realm.
In 1993, Miss Van started wall painting at the age of 20, initiating the feminine movement in street art. Originating from Toulouse, France, her overtly feminine art was a breath of fresh air in a traditionally masculine movement of urban art. She is known for her instantly recognizable sensual female characters, called poupées. They are more dolls then women, equally angelic and devilish in appearance, with attractive almond-shaped eyes. Over time, Miss Van’s girls have become less cute and more alluring and sexy, with ambiguous facial expressions.
Dabs and Myla are a married couple and graffiti artist tandem coming from Melbourne. When describing their art, we are unable to distinguish one from the other. The couple has been working together for almost a decade, developing a signature style along the way. Dabs and Myla are known for their exceptional color palette, clean lines and their use of typography and cartoon characters throughout their work. They collaborate with each other on every project, from fine art to street art.
Growing up all over NYC, Indie184 began to participate in the graffiti culture in 2001. She is known for her classic New York simple, yet playful feminine graffiti style infused with exuberant bold colors, bursting with hearts, stars and bubbles. Her works are very often incorporated with imagery and messages. You can find Indie184’s graffiti in the streets from the South Bronx to Oslo.
Lady AIKO is recognized in the contemporary art world as among the most important artists to emerge in the new millennium. Her large scale works, which unite Western and Eastern culture, are installed in many cities around the world. Lady AIKO fluidly hybrids the essence of American modern art movements such as Abstract Art, POP Art, and contemporary Graffiti and Street Art with the Japanese traditional aesthetic in which she was originally trained. Lady AIKO’s art is overtly feminine, full of pinups and floral prints, pinks and purples and glitz.
Christina Angelina is a Venice-based fine artist, street artist, photographer, producer and gallerist. When she isn't bound by professional commitments or finishing a painting in her studio, you can find her wheat-pasting her drawings to the walls. As a painter, Angelina prefers to work with oil, but her love for wheat-pasting has slowly entered her studio work, too.
Growing up in the grim industrial Yorkshire town of Huddersfield, CBloxx, an art school dropout and self-taught street artist, brings an edgy, psychedelic and surrealistic work full of dark imagery. Her images of voodoo characters, phantoms, skulls and skeletons in contrast with the urban landscape create a creepy atmosphere. CBloxx uses hand drawn and cut stencils, spray paint, markers and freehand drawing.
Faith47, a South African graffiti self-taught artist based in Cape Town, is known for her socially engaged murals. The refined style and often lamentable mood of her work is clearly recognizable. Faith47's early work was inspired primarily by the social realities in her country. She was interested in juxtaposing the vast difference between the promises of a better life and the harsh reality of the lives of most South Africans. In later work, the human condition and our relationship to animals and nature are the themes that are more recurring.
The numerous murals gracing walls around the world, oozing in color and geometry, belong to one MadC, one of the most prolific street artists working today. Exhibiting and painting extensively, she reinterprets the notions of street and contemporary art alike, donning an innovative visual narrative whose layers simply cannot wait to be unfolded!
The often young characters painted by Italian artist Alice Pasquini always evoke some sort of emotion - be it loneliness, nostalgia, intimacy, or a simple mystery left to the viewer to imagine. Also known as AliCè, she developed a unique, instantly recognizable style, through paintings, walls, cultural projects, advertising campaigns, teachings, panels and workshops held around the globe.
Lady Pink started writing graffiti in 1979, becoming one of the movement’s pioneers and appearing among the male members of the community in the celebrated motion picture titled Wild Style. Today, she continues to paint, but on canvas, and shares her experience of over almost four decades with students by holding mural workshops!
The first female graffiti artist in Afghanistan, Shamsia Hassani is a lecturer at the Kabul University as well. Her artworks portray Afghan women in a male-dominated society, giving them power, a voice, and encouraging their ambitions. These graphical works have also ultimately inspired thousands of women around the world and have given a new hope to female Afghan artists in the country!