3 Women That Are Changing the World Through Their Art

Born in Romania, The US, and Colombia, these three female artists are raising important conversations about beauty standards, ecology, and conflict through their work.

The Woman Post | Laura Valentina Cortés Sierra

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These three female artists are raising important conversations about beauty standards, ecology, and conflict through their work.

The Atlas of Beauty

Mihaela Noroc, a photographer from Romania, quit her job and started traveling around the world, photographing hundreds of beautiful women surrounded by their cultures. Her project is about our planet’s diversity shown through portraits of women. “Traveling on a meager budget made me integrated into all kinds of environments. Now I can say that beauty is everywhere, and the beauty definition is not a matter of cosmetics or sizes but more about being yourself.”

According to Bored Panda, she believes global beauty standards make us look and behave in similar ways but we are all beautiful because we are different. Her goal is to continue taking pictures making “The Atlas Of Beauty” a mirror of our diverse societies and an inspiration for people that try to remain authentic. She explains her goal is to show that allure is in our differences, not in trends, Beauty standards, money, or race.

When asked why her pictures main characters are always women she said “There’s so much pressure on women to look a certain way, everywhere in the world, and there’s also so much discrimination against them, and I realized that an honest project about women of the world, about their struggles and dreams, is really necessary today.”

Nature and Humans Are One

Eco-artist Jeanne Simmons, born in the United States, works with nature to address the relationships between the earth and humanity. Her intention is to help us reconnect with nature and to understand “We cannot escape our relationship with the natural world. There can be no ‘us’ without ‘it.’” In both her works "Grass Cocoon" and "Extensions" her model could not walk away from the scene. She was, as Simmons says, literally bound to the Earth. At the same time, she was also deeply at peace with her condition.

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The inspiration from her work “Extensions” was that having had very long hair her whole life, she experienced it as an extension of herself and her nervous system. With this piece, she was attempting to express “that I am an extension of the natural world, and that the natural world is an extension of me. I was also striving to illustrate the unbreakable bond between us.”

Her work “Grassy Yoni," from 2020, in which she illustrates female genitalia made of grass and soil. Her inspiration came from the Black Lives Matter protest, in which a woman identified only as "Jen" or “Naked Athena,” stood before the police, completely unclothed and confronted the armed police, with nothing but her nakedness, in an act of protest. About this artwork, Simmons says “‘Grassy Yoni' is my tribute to all that is feminine. It is my tribute to women and to the earth itself, the bearer and source of us all. It is also my personal antidote to what I perceive to be the overwhelming weight of unfettered patriarchy."

Doris Salcedo, Art for Peace and Memory

Doris Salcedo is a Colombian sculptor whose work showcases political situations in Colombia, emphasizing the importance of peace. She has won important awards such as the Velázquez Prize for Plastic Arts in 2010, the Hiroshima Art Prize in 2014, and the Nasher Prize for Sculpture in 2015. Salcedo has committed to amplifying the voices of relatives of people that have been killed by violence, using their testimonies as an inspiration in her creations.

According to the Reina Sofia Museum, Doris Salcedo has developed a complex and multifaceted work around political violence and the suffering of those who have been excluded from decent living conditions. With her creations, she seeks to (re)construct the incomplete and fragmented history of the people that live outside big urban centers in Colombia. Salcedo has described herself as “a sculptor at the service of the victims, who conceives her work as a funeral prayer with which she tries to erect the principles of the ‘poetics of mourning.’” She argues that grief is the most humane action that exists, which she considers, can bring back the dignity and humanity taken away by the armed conflict.

One of her most representative works is “Sumando Ausencias”, which translates adding absences. It was a collective creation in the Plaza de Bolívar in Bogotá in which hundreds of citizens, under her direction, sewed 1,900 pieces of cloth with the names of 1,900 victims of the armed conflict, written in ashes. The set of white fabrics of 2.5 meters each, occupied 7 square kilometers and covered the entire Plaza de Bolívar. According to the Memory Museum of Colombia, the initiative arose as a result of the crisis of the Peace Agreement between the Government of Colombia and the FARC after the victory of the NO in the plebiscite. Due to her outstanding work and influence, the National University of Colombia and the Complutense University of Madrid have given her an Honoris Causa Ph.D.

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