For the past 50 years, Pacific Northwest artist Patti Warashina has been creating ceramics that merge a range of themes including car culture, politics, and feminism. While her earlier female “shrines” contained vibrant pops of color, her most recent figurines are made of bone-white china. The characters take on the form of witches dancing around a fire, and nude devils and mortals riding in and alongside cars. Warashina explains in an interview with Seattle PI that she is inspired by Greek and Egyptian columns in the form of female figures, small court figures from the Han Dynasty, and early Japanese Haniwa figures.
Portrait artist Mary Jane Ansell may dress up her female subjects in the traditional European fashions of men, but they evoke a strong femininity. Her near-hyper realistic oil paintings portray young girls who step into the roles of regents and soldiers, roles that women were not eligible for. Their clothing, such as the red coat, also takes on a modern connotation in fashion as being punk and fashionably forward. However, her subjects’ personalities are more refined than tomboyish, with a delicate beauty in the way she draws eyes and features. Ansell’s newer works mix such political elements with those of nature, such as flowers and animal skulls. Take a look at new latest paintings for “Liberty’s Arc,” after the jump.
Lin Tianmiao is considered one of today’s most notorious contemporary artists in China, especially among women who are under-represented there in her field. Her signature medium is everyday materials, particularly woven textile such as silk, which she uses to convey modern women’s frustrations and identity. This has earned her the “feminist artist” label, one that she rejects. Male or female, her cryptic and ethereal works have captured the imagination for decades. Her “Focus” portrait photo series is currently on view in the “Conceal/Reveal: Making Meaning in Chinese Art” group showing at Seattle Asian Art Museum (SAM).