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Interview: Saatchi Art Celebrates Women in Art with First-Ever All-Women Catalog

Saatchi - Refuse to Be the Muse All-Female Catalog

Left: Lisa Hunt | Right: Lisa Krannichfeld
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Saatchi Art is shining a light on the talented female artists present on their platform with its newest catalog. Refuse to be the Muse is Saatchi Art's campaign covering more than 15 talented women working in the contemporary art field. From fine art photography to screenprinting, painting, and collage, each woman in the catalog has a unique point of view.

While the art world is traditionally lacking in representation for female artists, Saatchi Art's top 100 selling artists are more than 50% female. It's this statistic that helps break down archaic thinking that collectors don't buy work by female artists. To prove a point about how much female excellence exists in the art world, Saatchi Art chief curator Rebecca Wilson has hand-picked a roster of established and up-and-coming artists their first all-female catalog.

The catalog is a breathtaking representation of each woman's artistic vision. Established artists like Ysabel LeMay, whose work has been exhibited at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, are juxtaposed against emerging talents like Marijah Bac Cam, whose abstract, organic forms bring together Eastern and Western influences.

You can learn more about the talented artists through interviews and videos on Saatchi Art and shop the catalog to acquire original artwork and limited edition prints in celebration of Refuse to be the Muse. Using the code Collect2019 at checkout will get you 15% off your purchase (valid through June 30, 2019). Saatchi Art has also commissioned artworks by featured artist Kelly Puissegur, which are available as limited edition prints on Saatchi Art and as open edition prints, tote bags, and t-shirts via Society6.

We chatted with Saatchi Art chief curator Rebecca Wilson about Refuse to Be a Muse and how the online art marketplace aims to be a leader in breaking down gender bias in the art world. Read on for our exclusive interview and to see selections from the catalog.

Why are initiatives like this so important?

While women artists have undoubtedly seen greater exposure in recent years, they still continue to struggle for equal representation in the traditional art system. For example, women artists far outnumber men in art schools, and yet they comprise only 30% of artists on display in museums and galleries. And full-time women artists make an average of 81 cents for every dollar made by their male counterparts.

This is something we’re working to change.

As the world’s leading online art gallery, we have an impressive track record of supporting women artists. In 2018, more than half of our sales by U.S.-based artists were works by women, and currently, 54 out of the 100 best-selling artists are female.

Through our Refuse to be the Muse campaign, we want to celebrate and support women artists and introduce their vibrant and compelling works to a global audience.

How has the role of women in the art world changed over the past 50 years?

Traditionally, works by women have been overlooked in favor of that of their male peers. From Titian’s Venus to Picasso’s nudes, women have more often been the subject of artworks than had their own works displayed and celebrated in museums and galleries.

But this inequality is not found with online galleries such as Saatchi Art. We represent as many women artists as men (in the US and Europe only 14% of the artists represented by brick and mortar galleries are women), and our clients are very happy to buy works by women. So the argument from men running brick and mortar galleries that male artists sell better is just not true.

How did you go about selecting the artists for the catalog?

We want to introduce people to a selection of women artists with very different backgrounds who are making works in a wide range of styles.

Saatchi - Refuse to Be the Muse All-Female Catalog

“Roger Worried That His Hair Style Was Out of Fashion” by Kelly Puissegur. Pencil, ink, marker, watercolor, and acrylic on wood

Are there any particular artworks you’d like to call our attention to?

Kelly Puissegur created two new works specially for the Refuse to be the Muse campaign. True to her signature style, each work combines text and figures to make an empowered representation of women who aspire to be more than just inspiration for others.

What can supporters of the arts do in order to assist female artists in becoming more visible?

Make an effort to purchase works by women. Ask galleries and museums why they aren't having as many shows by women as men.

Saatchi - Refuse to Be the Muse All-Female Catalog

Left: Ysabel LeMay | Right: Flora Borsi

What is your hope for the future of women in the art world?

I think we are living through an exciting time of change where there is now evidence of a concerted effort and desire to do something about the underrepresentation of women artists in the art world. There is no shortage of outstanding work being made by women so it is now a question of making sure that women are equally displayed in museums and galleries, that their exhibitions are covered just as much as shows by men in magazines such as Artforum, and that every effort is made for the art world to reflect the society we live in in terms of gender as well as racial diversity.

Saatchi Art's new catalog highlights the incredible artistry of female creators.

Female Artists Catalog by Saatchi

“Kitty” by Flora Borsi. Limited Original Edition Giclée Print on Hahnemühle Paper | $2,190

Contemporary Art by Female Artists

“Aerial Navigation” by Elizabeth Lennie. Open edition print | from $60

Contemporary Art by Female Artists

“The Swan II” by Anna Madia. Oil on canvas | $1,500

Female Artists Catalog by Saatchi

“Chin Up” by Lisa Krannichfeld. Ink, acrylic, watercolor, paper and resin on paper and wood

Contemporary Art by Female Artists

“Natura” by Ysabel Lemay. Digital on paper. Limited edition of 5 | $8,300

Women in the Art World

“New Moon” by Olha Stepanian. Photogram. Limited edition 2 of 10 | $1,195

Female Artists Catalog by Saatchi

“Sleeping Beauties” by Javiera Estrada. Archival Pigment Print. Limited edition 2 of 5 | $2,970

Saatchi - Refuse to Be the Muse All-Female Catalog

“More Afar” by Anna Matykiewicz. Paper, gold leaf, and acrylic on canvas | $1,450

Saatchi - Refuse to Be the Muse All-Female Catalog

“Army III” by Delphine Lebourgeois. Digital on paper. Limited edition 8 of 20 | $1,160

Contemporary Art by Female Artists

“Vessels” by Erin Armstrong. Acrylic on canvas | $3,810

Women in the Art World

“Organic Mountain III” by Mariah Bac Cam. Ink, marker, and pencil on paper | $540

Contemporary Art by Female Artists

“Connected | Farewell Tria in copper” by Yuliya Martynova. Watercolor on paper | $980

Women in the Art World

“Desert Love” by Nadia Attura. C-type, Digital, Color and Platinum on Paper. Limited edition 29 of 250 | $355

Female Artists Catalog by Saatchi

“Arrows III,” by Lisa Hunt. Ink and Gold Leaf on Paper, Screenprint, limited edition of 50 | $745

Female Artists Catalog by Saatchi

“I Only Want Everything” by Marcelina Amelia. Hand finished limited edition print. Limited edition 25 of 40 | $612

Saatchi - Refuse to Be the Muse All-Female Catalog

“Hommage à Renoir XIX” by Ute Rathmann. Open edition print | from $40

Contemporary Art by Female Artists

“Read My Lips” by Sarah Maple. Screenprint. Limited edition of 20 | $810

Saatchi - Refuse to Be the Muse All-Female Catalog

“Thursdays Drawing Class Had Run Its Course” by Kelly Puissegur. Fine art print. Limited edition of 100 | $155

Saatchi Art: Website | Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Saatchi Art.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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