Street art is a massive industry and for a long time this industry was pretty male dominated but thankfully things have changed…
There’s now a never ending list of incredible female street artists who have been challenging the idea that street art is just for men and have been out creating awesome art of their own. We’ve rounded up six of our favorite solo female street artists who are killing it on the streets and challenging the status quo.
Check them out below, feel inspired and see if you can spot some of their work when you’re next out and about.
Frankie Strand is a British artist who is currently living and working in London. She Studied Illustration & Graphic Design at De Montfort University in Leicester and after graduating moved to London and began to paint street art. Strand’s work has been hugely influenced by medical history and lots of her art explores the human and animal anatomy. Her art is vibrant and full of color but has a macabre feel to it and she loves to create images of intertwined animals – especially reptiles. She has been commissioned to create large-scale wall pieces for schools, private clients, council funded competitions and local events & galleries and hopes that her street art will receive more recognition and allow her to travel to new cities and create more awesome pieces of street art.
Shamsia Hassani is the first prominent female street artist in Afghanistan and she is using her art to highlight the situation facing women in her country. Hassani was born in Tehran but moved to Kabul to study at the University where she graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts with a bachelors and masters degree in Visual Art – she also currently teaches graffiti at the university. As an Afghan artist Hassani is challenging the sexist, stereotypical roles that are often expected of Afghan women. Hassani paints strong, beautiful and dynamic women, who are full of energy – her art is powerful and has such an inspirational message at the core. She also hopes that her colorful art will help to heal a city that has been torn apart by war and conflict and instead spread a message of peace and hope to the community.
French graffiti artist KASHINK is a pretty big name on the street art scene and she’s well known for her distinctive art style. She first became involved with street art age 17 and started working on wall sized murals at 25, and since then she has painted large-scale, diversity-conscious murals in cities such as Paris, Morocco, New York and Los Angeles. You’ll be able to spot KASHKINK’s work from a mile off as her trademark style is brightly colored, four eyed (mostly) male characters, with thick lines and crazy patterns; she describes them as ‘badass yet sensitive gangsters’. KASHINK is also an activist and uses her art to support campaigns she is passionate about; she worked with Amnesty International on their ‘My Body, My Rights’ project and helped to campaign for marriage equality in France by painting nearly 200 murals of gay couples gazing into each other’s eyes, she named this campaign ’50 Cakes of Gay’.
ELLE is a Brooklyn-based street artist and muralist, who is best known for her striking female figures and diverse use of mediums and tools to create her art. At the beginning of her career ELLE created a lot of illegal graffiti and so to remain anonymous (and out of trouble) she kept her identity a secret. But as she grew and developed as an artist and began to do larger wall paintings and murals she came out of hiding and revealed her true identity. ELLE’s passion for street art started when she noticed that there was a real shortage of female street artists and set out to change this. Her signature style is beautiful, brightly colored, powerful female figures that light up the streets for all to see. Her art has taken her all around the world; she has installed pieces inside and outside the Urban Nation Museum in Berlin, she’s had an exhibition at Saatchi Gallery in London, painted in Mexico City with All City Canvas, Israel and Malaysia with Urban Nation. She’s a female street artist who’s challenging the status quo of the street art world and killing it whilst doing so.
French artist Zabou started her career in street art when she moved to London in 2012 and hasn’t stopped since. She had always been drawing and painting but when she came over to London to study she was so impressed with the quality of London’s street art and graffiti scene that she decided to give it a go for herself. Zabou’s work is a combination of colorful shades and sharp lines, and she really likes to make the viewer feel a whole range of emotions whilst looking at her art. Zabou is very skilled at integrating the location and surrounding area with her art, so when you look at the overall piece of work, it fits in well with the surroundings and doesn’t look out of place. She uses a combination of stencil and freehand techniques in her art and she ‘likes to question society and to poke fun at conformists’. Her skills as a street artist have taken her to countries like Portugal, Spain, Cyprus, Dubai and the USA.
ELNO is a Spanish street artist, illustrator and painter, who currently resides in London. Her style is a fusion of human characters and wild animals and she is inspired by her love of the eclectic worlds of the theatre and circus. Not only is ELNO a talented street artist but she also has a Masters in Costume Design from IED in Barcelona and she also studied Fashion Design at EASD in Valencia. Her experience working in the fashion and illustration industries has helped develop her style as a street artist, and she loves to be playful with her work and use bright colors. ELNO has worked with huge brands like G Star Raw, Acer, Adidas and Amigos Tequila Beer and she regularly sprays in live art exhibitions. Painting on the streets gives ELNO a feeling of freedom and she loves how people can see her work in an organic, spontaneous way.