When I first decided to make this list I thought, " Oh, this will be a breeze! I'm a girl. I like art made by... girls!". I only know now, that there truly are so few female artists in the modern surrealism niche. Well, so few that are really marching to their own beat. There are always trends, and talented artists willing to follow them. You jump on the wagon at the right time, and an art star is born. Is it really the collective unconscious, or are there just a lot of talented yet uncreative creators out there? I don't think they are dissimilar to a flash in the pan. Which of those artists could persevere a decade or longer? Here is a selection of female artists that in my opinion are really doing something different:
1. Laurie Lipton: Being the first to graduate with honours from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pennsylvania with a Fine Arts Degree in Drawing, it's no surprise that her ability to render light is exquisite. It might make you think you were looking at an old photograph, and not led on paper. Her choice of subject matter is even more interesting though. Her imagery is not only dark, but intelligently grotesque making even the strongest of hearts cringe. Check out, "Love Bites ", it's one of my favorites and a perfect example of this.
2. Samantha Levin: Splitting her artistic efforts between curiously detailed found art sculptures, painting, and quirky, large scale installation. Each with their own sense of mystery, but my favorite is her biomorphic piece, "Anthromorph", an growth of overzealous, brass piping that has engulfed and taken over an old living room chair. Her works generally focus around the personality of intimate objects and their ability to transform into creatures with human-like personality.
3. Heiko Blankenstein: To my dismay, I just discovered Heiko's work at the large Gallery Weekend in Berlin, with a solo show at, Galerie Alexandra Saheb. Her work was split between sprawling and incredibly intricate ballpoint pen drawings, and mystical light box etchings. Each piece has several events and subjects all interacting with each other in a beautiful chaos (Dali would be proud). Absolutely stunning work - so detailed no photo could do it justice.
4. Carrie Ann Baade: With a tipped hat and nod, Carrie reflects upon the human condition through collage studies based from artists that have come before. Her paintings are featured in the book, Metamorphosis, a survey of modern surrealism which was released this year.
5. Amy Ross: Delicate watercolors depicting mushrooms and birds into endearing, hybrid, half-creatures. Often these creatures have playful stems which they dance and run along on. Her botanical drawings gone awry could very easily hang out with the likes of a nome in an Icelandic fairy tale.
6. Heidi Taillefer: Her work successfully fuses classical figurative painting, surrealism, and contemporary realism. Influenced primarily by, "... ideological concerns about the environment and the impact of society...", she demonstrates her discontent with the absurdity of certain aspects of society. For example, "The Ventriloquist", whose blacken heart corrupts the innocent, projecting his self-loathing onto those around him.
7. Anna Druzcz: I first met Anna through a group show, "Instant Gratification" in New York, which we both contributed work to. This was 2007 when she was graduating with an MFA in Photography Studies from, Rochester Institute of Technology. Her work is a mix of digital photography and intensive post-production - creating desolate, desaturated landscapes. As dark and lonely as these barren plains seemingly are, there's a glimmer of life still. In some works, the audience watches human-like figures in the process metamorphosis. Who knows what they will become? With twinges of lush greenery on the horizon I believe it's a sign of hope.
8. Madeline Von Foerster:The Mische, or Mixed, technique that Madeline uses was invented by the Flemish Masters of the 15th century. The tempera allowed them to paint exquisite detail, while the oil layers permitted sumptuous blending and realism. In concert the two media offer unparalleled luminosity, as light travels through the oil glazes and reflects off the highly opaque tempera beneath. In her series, Waldkammer, she plays with themes of intimacy between mankind and it's often destructive relationship with nature.
9. Jessica Joslin: I honestly don't know too much about this Hollywood artist. Other than she machines devilishly, cute creatures from metal and animal skeletons (They might actually be from molds also); hybrid, cyborg-style animals. "Orlando" is one of my all time favorites, but they are all pretty cool.
10. Robert and Shana Parkeharrison: Ok, Robert isn't a girl, but Shana is. This husband and wife team have been in the scene for awhile. However, their work continues to stun and intrigue me. They describe their work as, "Inherent in this civilization of consumption and technology is the waste and destruction of the vulnerable earth. The mythic world we create in our photographs mirrors our world, where nature is domesticated and controlled. The scenes we depict however, display futile attempts to save or rejuvenate nature."
(* All the artist names are also links to their work, so click away!)