One of the things we love about social media is its ability to expose us to things we might otherwise have been unlikely to come across because of geography. Instagram has definitely made the world smaller and diminished the vastness of the oceans.
Below we have highlighted three artists we stumbled upon on the 'gram. They are located in different corners of the world and they all portray black feminine beauty at its finest. We've discussed the importance of representation before and its great to see ourselves in art. With that said, you may now feast your eyes.
1. Debra Cartwright
Based in Harlem, NY, Deborah works primarily in watercolour. Her clients include HBO, Essence and Harper Collins. Her debut exhibition entitled Made In Her Image consisted of a collection of paintings that depicted black women as carefree in hopes of shattering the stereotype of the angry black woman. In an interview with The Huffington Post, she said “...I seek to portray us as soft, feminine and carefree...”. Her art also helped her with accepting her natural hair.
With the colors and sights I’d just witness, creating art was the only thing on my mind. And like any artist in the zone, I skipped any and everything that came my way so I could paint. Don’t make my mistake! I missed an opportunity to bike around the city – an activity I plan to take on the next time I am here. #linkinbio ☺️👊🏽
I’ve been meaning to document my travels through illustration for sometime. For the last few years, the main subject of my art has been black women and black femininity. Travel was a chance to re-explore what I could produce with my paintbrush. To push myself to see more outside of what I know. And ‘Jozi’, as they call Johannesburg, was the perfect place to start. Go to debracartwright.com/travel for the full story. Link in bio http://www.debracartwright.com/travel
2. Ndidi Emefiele
Ndidi's work is very much influenced by her Nigerian culture. She usually depicts female characters with exceptionally large heads wearing glasses and incorporates recycled materials and ankara. In an interview with IAM Magazine, about her art she says:
"...My media has become my means to protest.
The exaggerated heads are symbolic, particularly in the western part of Nigeria, where sculptural heads are depicted larger than they appear and embedded with cultural meanings. The head is called the “Ori” and it is considered the most important part of the body, regarded as the ‘locus of the ase of olodumare‘. The head is said to control a person’s destiny. My work is a combination of many things including culture. The glasses are my strategy to give the female some form of protection. It is that curtain, a veil, a mask behind which she masters the art of mobility, she is learning to work the alchemy of dissolving the hard conditions in which she finds herself. They have become a mark of identity, but also an element of style."
3. Philece — aka that Artista
Philece lives in Nassau and uses and fuses digital and traditional techniques. On her website, she says:
"From conception to completion, the goal is to open eyes and minds to the stories hidden within, creating soulful connections between artwork and viewer. I encourage the viewer to redefine beauty, venture below the surface of normality and push their perspective beyond what they initially see. My work is about freedom of expression, exploration of life's ups and downs and growing within the results of those revelations. It is the definitive of my work, and my evolution as an artist and I look forward to creating something beautiful for you."
My #AdornHerSeries is now complete! Met my end of year goal last month by finishing the 6th piece "Golden" on the left and the 7th, "Adorn Her" on the right. ▫️ My series tend to create themselves and I don't necessarily work on each piece back to back. The first three pieces of this series were completed in 2013 and 2014. Two more in early 2015 and these two last month. I prefer to let inspiration take hold when it chooses and allow the art to dictate the process. I started my graphite series The Beauty Collection in 2009 and continue to add to it every year. Neither of these came to me as a series initially. The collective was inspired by the art, by life and the simple fact that beauty and inspiration are everywhere and is constant. 😘 #thatArtista