When people talk about influential artists, they usually mention a bunch of male artists that have made a name for themselves in their own mediums. They tend to skip over the female artists who have faced challenges in training and education. Women have contributed to every major art movement and have become leaders in a variety of styles and techniques. Each women listed below has becoming influential in their medium and has put a stamp on the art world.
Kahlo, most famously known for her unibrow and mustache, created approximately 200 paintings, 55 of which are self-portraits. Her paintings were both seductive, bold, confrontational, and usually always depicted something in her life. Kahlo is celebrated in Mexico for painting her Mexican and indigenous culture as well as by feminists for her depiction of the female experience and form.
Known exclusively for her installations and sculptures, Kusama pieces show attributes to feminism, minimalism, surrealism, and sexual content. Sometimes called the “princess of polka dots,” Kusama is credited with being the force behind the avant-garde art scene in the 1960s. She is also one of the first artists to experiment with using performance and action in her installations.
Sometimes known for her sometimes controversial photographs of some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Annie Leibovitz got her start as chief photographer at Rolling Stone magazine in 1973. Leibovitz quickly became known for the intimate moments she captured during a photo shoot. Her photographs show humor, age in beauty, vulnerability, and poise. Most of Leibovitz’ recent work appears in Vanity Fair magazine.
Saville quickly rose through the ranks of the art world when British art collector Charles Saatchi purchased her entire senior show and gave her an 18-month contract to support her while she created additional pieces for his London gallery. Saville’s methods and subject matter are both traditional but her reinvention of figure painting is what makes her stand out. Her work features distorted flesh, high-caliber brush strokes, and patches of oil color.
This California-based artist and social activist who brings awareness to beach and ocean pollution through her pieces. DeBris creates sculptures, decorative art, and other unique pieces out of trash she collects to provide a perspective of what the earth possibly looks like from space. DeBris raises funds for various non-profits and art education through her work.