[T]he world at large is criminally lacking equality. And, despite its progressive motives, groundbreaking and agenda-setting works and troupes of constant agitators, the art world is too. Curatorship especially is all too often overseen by the establishment, by self-appointed gatekeepers of culture. White men, basically. Enter Curated by Girls. a Berlin-based platform managed by Laetitia Duveau (also an artist and musician) and Suzanne Wegh, both of whom are dedicated to showcasing the work of “talented artists, emerging and established, from around the world,” regardless of gender, sexuality, race, class, education or any of the arbitrary boundaries that society loves to enforce.
Via the internet and IRL shows – and despite the ongoing existence of BS Instagram censorship rules – Curated by Girls is bringing exceptional image making, without prejudice.
Image above by Brandy Eve Allen, @brandyevephotos.
Amanda Cots (@amandacotsx) is a 24 years old photographer from Spain. Her photographic work mainly focuses on issues that matter such as feminism, gender and sex.⠀ Cots mainly shoots analog portraiture and her projects "Gandia’s Girls" documents the life of a group of young girls living in Gandia, her hometown: a spanish and touristic town located in the Valencia's coast.⠀ ⠀ "What I wanted to reflect in this project is the girls’ particular vision of feminism, femininity and girlhood. A feminist idea that has nothing to do with this trendy, western and city-oriented idea of feminism that although is becoming more and more popular, has been systematically excluding these girls from small towns and other cultures from its narrative."⠀ http://www.curatedbygirls.com/amanda-cots.html⠀ ____⠀ #amandacots #curatedbygirls #analogphotography #feminism
Hi Laetitia, what prompted you to start Curated by Girls?
Well, I became a curator by accident. I am firstly an Artist, Little Voice and frontwoman of the band Free Free Dom Dom. I came to Berlin almost a year ago to pursue my music career and Curated By Girls kinda happened to me. It started out as a friendly collaboration between me and my former partner Ophélie Rondeau. We put up a website together to promote visual arts based on diversity, equality and freedom. The idea was to build a female-curated collective that would be all inclusive and represent everyone, no matter the gender, ethnicity, or sexuality.
After a while Ophelie had to quit to focus on her photography career, and I kept going on my own. Since then, I organized three successful IRL shows in Berlin with amazing international artists. I am quite proud and happy that I stuck to this project, it’s now part of my life and it is very inspiring. More recently Suzanne Wegh, a feminist curator from Netherlands, has joined the team!
Parker Day (@heyparkerday) is a Los Angeles based artist known for her trippy, saturated, and hyperreal 35mm portraits. Her work, unretouched and only shot in studio, explores identity and the masks we wear in society, focusing on the relationship between reality and fiction.⠀ In her series ICONS, featuring 100 fictionalized portraits of LA's eccentric personnalities, Day is questionning normality and the gender binary, exposing instead that gender is a construct.⠀ ⠀ "My foundational philosophy is that all of identity is a construct, including gender – I don’t believe any one form is more valid than another. It’s all equal; we’re all equal. So, yes, I am a feminist and so is my work."⠀ ⠀ photo featuring @aleesyvon ⠀ View more of Parker Day's amazing work here:⠀ http://www.curatedbygirls.com/parker-day.html⠀ ____⠀ #parkerday #curatedbygirls #35mm #icons #genderidentity #feminism
Micaela Mclucas (@micaelamclucas) is a photographer native of Los Angeles, California. Having spent the past several years studying art and philosophy at The Sorbonne in Paris and traveling, she currently resides between London and Los Angeles.⠀ ⠀ " 'When I first came back to Earth after 128 days in space, I thought I had ruined my life ... because gravity felt so heavy.'(-Nasa astronaut David Wolfe)⠀ Those words spun around and around my head upon hearing them one cold winter morning in London not too long ago. To be honest I am not sure how I even ended up in London, I am from Los Angeles, I was fortunate enough to grow up in paradise, and yet, here I am on the other side of the world, more dizzy and fascinated by it all than ever. I like to see my work as sorts of dreams I weave together from life that I capture obsessively around me, sans cesse..."⠀ ⠀ http://www.curatedbygirls.com/micaela-mclucas.html⠀ ____⠀ #micaelamclucas #curatedbygirls #photography
Do you find Instagram to be a valid gallery space?
It is imperative to show artwork online and Instagram is very convenient. It is a space for different voices to be heard and represented. It has literally given easy access to art but is also a big mashup of all and everything. People tend too much to be interested in getting likes, and just being famous. Art is beyond that! Of course I discover many gems on Instagram, around 50% of the CBG artists featured.
One of the main problems with IG is censorship, which is ridiculous. The female body is constantly policed. You see sex everywhere but a nipple gets your photo banned from IG? How stupid is that?
I think it is definitely a great space for art, like an infinite online gallery, and fun to use. But I guess it will never be as strong as IRL shows. We are spending too much time behind a screen these days and we need to reconnect with real things, real people, connect to our senses, and truly enjoy the moment. Seeing art in the flesh is stronger than just checking your Instagram feed that’s for sure.
[REPOST] Pénélope Strintz (@holdonnyc) is a french painter & designer based in NYC. Her art speaks of both the freedom of women and men. She hopes she can turn the boring reality of the world into something fun, light and also a bit shocking. http://www.curatedbygirls.com/penelope-strintz.html _____ #penelopestrintz #holdonnyc #pinup #curatedbygirls #illustration
Philippe Duval (@philipperocks) is an Artist based in Berlin. He is a musician and singer, who started analog photography a few months ago, capturing the inspiring visuals around him and especially his muse. Whatever he does, it's always with passion. The result is magic.⠀ http://www.curatedbygirls.com/philippe-duval.html⠀ ____⠀ #philippeduval #curatedbygirls #analogphotography #itslittlevoice
How do you think photography will change in the next five years?
Photography is constantly evolving and developing so quickly. Film photography has been brought back to fashion lately, which shows that we constantly recycle ideas.
There are more and more aspiring photographers – everyone has photo access, with a smartphone, and the opportunity to explore photography and expose pictures in one click. But being an artist takes more than just being on Instagram. It has to do with exploring oneself, not just posting nice photos. There’s a lot of creativity out there for sure, and even if everything has been done already, to me, what really stands out is personality.
Hopefully, in the near future the world will be more balanced. Right now employment in the art sector is still highly unbalanced. Most photographers making a living from their work are white men. Female photographers, and artists in general, are exploited, and that’s why we are many fighting against that (actively creating unions and platforms) to change this inequality. We need more diversity!
[REPOST] Anastasia Cazabon (@dreamylogic) is a photographer and filmmaker living in Berlin. She also runs the film festival GRRL HAUS CINEMA. DREAM LOGIC is a photography series that explores the absurdity, horror and humor of dream life. http://www.curatedbygirls.com/anastasia-cazabon.html _____ #anastasiacazabon #curatedbygirls #photography #repost2016
[REPOST]⠀ Sasha (@zhidcova_) is a 23 years old linguist from Russia, St.Petersburg. In her pictures, she wants to convey the problem of depersonalization in the world where nobody cares about individuals but everybody is obsessed with same looks.⠀ ⠀ http://www.curatedbygirls.com/sasha.html⠀ ____⠀ #curatedbygirls #photography #depersonalization #repost2016
What, in your opinion, are the worst effects of not having diversity when it comes to photography?
A lack of diversity is suffocating. When there is no diversity, there is no creativity. The art world needs to be filled with different colours and perspectives. Over-representation of one race, gender or culture is oppressive because it doesn’t give any space for the wide variety of life. It is boring and faking reality. It goes for photography but for life in general! If you live focused on your own ego or you are in fear of the other, you are missing out on the amazing diversity that surrounds you. Diversity makes photography alive, free and creative… If you follow a trend or you just copy and don’t look deeper inside you, your photography will be boring.
[REPOST]⠀ Joseph Wolfgang Ohlert (@josephwolfgangohlert) is a young german photographer based in Berlin. He has been working for two years on his project “Gender as a Spectrum”, a book that challenges gender norms.⠀ He has been travelling across the globe, looking for amazing personalities who don’t let themselves be restricted by stereotypical binary gender roles.⠀ The book’s approach is not to educate and show various definitions of gender but to display a variety of individuals out of the wide and shining gender spectrum. Every person has chosen deliberately to be who they are and live free from society’s pressure to fit into a generally accepted role.⠀ http://www.curatedbygirls.com/joseph-wolfgang-ohlert.html⠀ ____⠀ #josephwolfgangohlert #genderasaspectrum #curatedbygirls #analogphotography #repost2016
[REPOST] Bianca Valle (@vbiancav) is an eclectic soul running about New York soaking up as much as she can. There has been a camera in her hand since she was a young girl growing up in California. Ever since then, she has been taking pictures of friends that appeal to her in regards of their mind, body and spirit. Bianca's photography doesn't really revolve around feminism because she believes that word is putting women's freedom into a category. She feels as though the concept of feminism shouldn't have a label, women should all be fighting for and exercising their freedom regardless, from appearance to the work place. Bianca's photography focuses on celebrating the unfiltered beauty of women or any gender she photographs. http://www.curatedbygirls.com/bianca-valle.html
Do you find mainstream image-making and established image makers alienating?
Many people feel alienated from the mainstream culture and art. This is because there is still an under-representation of certain communities like people of colour and non-binary individuals. I do feel like there’s a lot of stereotyping and a lack of true representation in mainstream popular media.
But ‘mainstream’ is not always synonym of bad or wrong. Before becoming mainstream, it can be ‘underground’ or whatever you want to call it. What I don’t really enjoy is how people follow mainstream. They are usually after money! And once you go after it, well your work loses its passion. There are photographers who made history and some people might not be touched by their artwork but those artists all stand with one common thing: Once again, personality.
[REPOST]⠀ Emerald Rose Whipple (@emeraldrosewhipple) is a Californian painter based in New York. Her paintings are like candid snapshots of wayward youth, realized in oil paint, which capture the beauty, innocence, and unruliness of youth in a way an advertisement or editorial can only attempt. The art, like the subjects themselves, evokes the freedom and wonder prevalent in urban youth culture. Whippleʼs challenge is to highlight the experience of observation both as a construct of inner reflection and as an abstract phenomenology.⠀ ⠀ http://www.curatedbygirls.com/emerald-rose-whipple.html⠀ _____⠀ #emeraldrosewhipple #curatedbygirls #painting #oilpaint #impressionism #youth
What, for you, makes a compelling image?
Personality, honesty, sincerity. I think an artist makes a good image when he does it his way. What’s primordial is that the photo is telling a story, capturing a moment, an emotion, a soul….
[REPOST]⠀ Julia De la Torre (@juliadelatore) is a Mexican artist based in New York City and teh founder & curator of Howl Magazine.⠀ Through her work she challenges mainstream stereotypes of beauty, relationships, and gender roles. In response to the vast underrepresentation of so many human beings throughout every medium from movies to magazines, she takes it upon herself to illustrate diversity. Her intent is to normalize what is in fact normal and beautiful instead of what is artificial and unreachable, hoping to empower people into self-love.⠀ ⠀ http://www.curatedbygirls.com/julia-de-la-torre.html⠀ _____⠀ #juliadelatorre #curatedbygirls #illustration #diversity #repost2016
[REPOST]⠀ Dafy Hagai (@dafys) is a photographer from Tel Aviv, currently based in London and NYC. In her second book 'Golden Showers', Hagai, who doesn't care for cute anymore, captures the youthful insolence and intuitive sexuality, showing she has “grown to feel comfortable being awkward.”⠀ http://www.curatedbygirls.com/dafy-hagai.html⠀ _____ #dafyhagai #goldenshowers #curatedbygirls #photography