Female Street and Graffiti Artists in our collection - Activism Matters


Street Art Museum Amsterdam has created and registered more than 200 artworks over the last 7 years. Many are still present, but many has been removed or demolished. As our team of volunteers and interns are working through the archives for this year project on creating AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) capsules, we noticed the striking number of female artists in what is often referred as 'white men sport'.

Having discussed the fact on more than one occasion because of the Collection Plan Policy we are writing, it became apparent that all women in SAMA collection have one thing in common - activism and passion for the streets.

My personal inspiration for the streets, graffiti and any form of art in urban space came from Jeannette Dekeukeleire of Art Kitchen gallery, who kindly shared with me URBAN ILLUSTRATION BERLIN (street art city guide) as early as 2009, were I found an interview from the artist SWOON and the following quote:

"I am in love with the liminal, third-space, left-over parts which are often right in the middle of the most vital parts of the city, but sometimes tucked away a little more. I like areas where people are doing a lot of walking.

Advertising is always trying to place itself a million miles above us, looming down with the shiniest flashiest most disconnected depictions of beauty, just out of reach like the rest of its promises.

I find myself trying to get down below that, at eye level, where people are walking and to depict the life that exists here at the bottom edge, our ordinary reality as it remains connected to the ground."

The statement resonated with my personal feelings and emotions with regards to the approach to our public space, the street domain, the urban design. It appealed to me that the art this talented activist was talking about had a function, a mission and a goal - to draw attention to lesser obvious, to provoke curiosity and consider responsibility.

The original ethics of street art, going back to 1999 - 2010, was to juxtapose the movement against expensive museums, snobbish white cube conceptual galleries and condescending concepts. The Graffiti and Street Art, the ORIGINALS, were varying from small (Space Invader) to just a little bit bigger than human size (Banksy) pieces. At the time, hardly anyone got paid or commissioned by the municipality, so it was up to the ingenuity of the artists to beat the billboard of advertising taking over the cities.

This is not the case today.

Therefore, we feel that it is of historical importance for us to document the first rare birds that flew into Amsterdam Nieuw-West and helped us to start the collection before the Hype of street art museums and city managed graffiti. These women, these pioneers, were creating the movement for the sake of it rather than seeking fame and popularity. Activism came before Sensationalism for them, and we are proud to have been the first to give them an opportunity to work on the streets of our city of Amsterdam.

BTOY (ES)

2012

2013

2014

2016

2017

2018

BASTARDILLA (CO)

2012

2018

PAU (PROJECT WALL FLOWERS) (CL)

2013

NINETTA (ES)

2014

ZAS (CO)

2014

2016

MINIVILA (NL)

2014

BUNNYBRIGADE (NL)

2014

JUDITH DE LEEUW (NL)

2017

SANDRIN BOULET (FR)

2017

ORTICANOODLES - ALITA (IT)

2017

LEDANIA (CO)

2017

IRENE LOPEZ (ES)

2018

IRINA ERMOLAEVA (RU)

2018

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Street Art Museum Amsterdam
Immanuel Kanthof 1
1064 VR
Amsterdam

 

answers@streetartmuseumamsterdam.com

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