Art News

100 Voices, 100 Artists — Whitney Avra

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave American women the right to vote. Despite having fought and won to have a voice in American democracy, women still face blatant inequality in the art world.

In 2019, it was reported that in the last ten years, women artists represent a meager 2% of all auction sales. According to the Public Library of Science, 87% of the works in 18 prominent art museums in the US were done by men. A joint study conducted by artnet Analytics and Maastricht University found that just 13.7% of living artists represented in galleries in Europe and North America are women.

Like the vote, art is a powerful means of expressing one’s voice and vision. In recognition of this landmark centennial, and in the spirit of correcting the gender imbalance in the arts, Saatchi Art is celebrating 100 of our most talented women artists for Women’s History Month. We have highlighted 8 artists from our 100 Voices, 100 Artists campaign and hope you love their message and art as much as we do.

“I work with particular photographs based on a feeling—a certain resonance, a remembering of time and place, a reckoning of a past relationship. Layering multiple media, women in vintage images begin to glow like goddesses. Beginning with a color field, as if a veil, and finishing with a saintly halo, as if a crown, past figures become current heroes. With my work, I turn ordinary women into revered sentinels.” —Whitney Avra

Based in Austin, Texas, Whitney Avra is a mixed-media artist exploring female identity through vintage photography and portraiture. Using vibrant acrylic paint, Whitney transforms the subjects of old photographs into luminescent icons. By adding golden acrylic halos and embroidered stitches to her photographs, Whitney’s women become a reverential celebration of femininity. Whitney has exhibited at The Elisabet Ney Museum in Austin and at The Other Art Fair Dallas. Her artwork has been featured in The Austin Chronicle, Austin CultureMap and Glass Tire

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About the Author

Aurora Garrison is Assistant Curator at Saatchi Art. Need help finding art? Contact her via our free Art Advisory service at saatchiart.com/artadvisory.