As an online gallery in the modern world of art, Gallerima has taken the opportunity this week to honor International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month by contributing to the conversation about women, womanhood and women’s representation in art.
More than half of the visual artists today are women, yet they’re significantly underrepresented by the majority of galleries. We invited two of our talented female artists on Gallerima to talk about their experiences as women working in the arts:

Sanna Tairi is a self-taught Kurdish painter of the fine arts using both oils and acrylics to produce masterpieces in the fashion of surrealism and figurative art to touch on topics of mental health and beauty.

Jessica Oliveras is our talented Catalan artist who masters the techniques of hyperrealism to expose the naked truth about the human condition through paintings that convey drama, emotionalism and symbolism.

Shift in Perspective by Sanna Tairi, available on Gallerima

Giving Recognition To Women

One of the major consequences of the underrepresentation of women in art is raised by Jessica, who explains she lacked a good reference of iconic female artists to follow when growing up. However, as she’s become more established in her artistic career, she independently pursued knowledge of the great female masters in the history of art, who are vastly discounted in the art scene yet phenomenal inspirations to Jessica today. 

Luckily, Sanna found a great source of inspiration from the female figures in her personal life: “I grew up around strong Kurdish women”, one of which was her matriarch grandmother who fled the war by seeking refuge in Sweden with her belongings on her back and nine children under her protection. 

“My predominantly female family is influencing me and my art in every way possible” – Sanna Tairi

The lack of female references and representations in the art community erases a big part of the art world as well as it restricts artists from learning about figures that can potentially have great influence on their creative growth.

Art galleries today are one of the main sources of exposure and Gallerima proudly provides unique stories of some of the most talented female artists today for you to be inspired and influenced by – such as bioscientist and abstract artist Özlem Thompson who draws inspiration from the peculiar beauty of natural organisms or Italian painter Sarah Arensi whose art is an expression of tao-inspired spirituality.

Redefining Beauty

Sanna argues that women’s bodies have been conditionally beautiful in art history and only socially celebrated if kept within certain frameworks. As an act of rebellion against the narrow standards of beauty placed upon women in society, both Sanna and Jessica have actively chosen to represent the range of different shapes and shades that exist in the diverse female community through their art.

Cassandra by Sanna Tairi, available on Gallerima

“These beauty standards that the art industry upholds are unattainable for a majority of women” – Sanna Tairi

Sanna’s goal is to help fill the gap in the representation of black, indigenous and women of color (“BIWOC”) in fine art. Similarly, by painting women whose bodies defy societal ideals and emphasizing natural beauty in detail, Jessica also challenges the social preconception surrounding women which are often reinforced in art. Both Sanna and Jessica are contributing to the incredible expansion of our collection of artwork showing women in their diverse abilities and appearances at Gallerima. 

“I search for raw, wild and bold beauty” – Jessica Oliveras

Spring by Jessica Oliveras, available on Gallerima

This painting is a part of the series “Pachamama” which speaks to Mother Nature as an allegory of the female figure

Extensions of Womanhood in Art

There are different ways in which artists choose to portray womanhood beyond just using a female muse – Sanna sometimes paints nature and animals as a portrayal of womanhood, as she interprets the essential elements of life as mediums of femininity.

Read more on the symbolism behind animals in art

Luna Bianconeri by Sanna Tairi, available on Gallerima

Regardless of what motive is painted on the canvas, womanhood is expressed in art whenever a female artist simply engages in the process of creation. Female artists who paint are producing work in the art community which reflect women’s creativity, power and freedom – in that way, art itself is an extension of women.

“The first woman I ever painted was myself” – Sanna Tairi

Emptiness in My Chest by Sanna Tairi, available on Gallerima

For Jessica, painting is a process of connecting with herself as a woman and recognizing her own reflection, fears and feelings. Thus, her artwork becomes a self-manifestation and the revelation of her inner voice.

“Art gives me the tools and the space to explore and express a female vision”Jessica Oliveras

Art is Liberation
When we learn that art is a tool for women to realize themselves in a society that tends to overlook them, it becomes even more important for the art community to celebrate and invest in female artists both individually and as a collective.

“Under my conceptualization, art is the highest representation of freedom. When I paint, I have no rules or limitations” – Jessica Oliveras

Autumn by Jessica Oliveras, available on Gallerima

This painting is a part of the series “Pachamama” which speaks to Mother Nature as an allegory of the female figure

International Women’s Day honours the emancipation of women from the rules that limit their possibilities of engaging equally in the world. In art, these principles of liberation matter as well. Sanna, among other women, sees art as a free zone wherein there aren’t any rules or control mechanisms that undermine her ability to fully exist. 
“Creating art, for me, is like being out in nature” – Sanna Tairi

Dream by Sanna Tairi, available on Gallerima

Last Words

The question we’re dedicated to at Gallerima is; how can we contribute to a fair representation of women in the arts? As an art gallery that aims to uncover real stories behind the art, we’re happy to have presented the inspiring stories of two of our magnificent artists, Sanna Tairi and Jessica Oliveras. Look through our featured artists on Gallerima to discover more incredible female artists who produce mesmerizing works in their own unique way. Never ever hesitate to support female artists and credit the women that inspire creativity in the world!

Happy International Women’s Day from Gallerima!