Female graffiti artists

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Feminist stencil graffiti in Spain, 2013: "without you, I am me"

Female graffiti artists have taken an active part in graffiti writing and hip hop graffiti writing[1] since its beginnings. Female graffiti artists can face challenges of overt sexism and sexual assault from fellow artists while executing their work. Examples of female graffiti artists include Lady Pink, Charmin 65, JDL street art, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh,[2] Shamsia Hassani, Christina Angelina / Starfighter, Btoy, Miss Van, Ovni / Anna Taratiel, and Evelyn Queiroz / Negahamburguer.

Female graffiti writers and street artists use murals, pieces, tags, and street art to display their artwork and make their voices heard.

Sexism in graffiti[edit]

Women tend to be frequently hypersexualized and marginalized in hip hop, which also extends to the hip hop graffiti subculture.[3] Female graffiti artists can often be sexualized, tokenized, and marginalized, which scholar Jessica Pabón feels can breed "a culture of misogyny" and can also lead to the oppression of female graffiti artists.[3] This ideology can also shape how female artists relate to other female writers and how they see themselves as the weaker writer or as a means to gain sexual attention from males.[3]

Representation in graffiti art[edit]

Although female writers exist in the subculture of graffiti, their work tends to be more infrequently seen and acknowledged as that of their male counterparts, something that some artists feel mirrors the lack of feminine representation in the art world.[4] As a result, female artists can sometimes, either voluntarily or involuntarily, become part of the feminist movement in graffiti, as well as the feminist art movement by bringing their femininity.

Activism and feminist graffiti communities[edit]

In response to the perceived patriarchy of graffiti, female graffiti artists in locations such as Chile and Brazil are forming all-female crews where new female artists are given a positive space with support, mentoring and friendship.[5] These communities feel that by re-claiming space through graffiti they are "[protesting] her invisibility" and "[claiming] space in a subculture where the walls 'belong' to men".[5]

Some female graffiti artists use activism to combat topics such as street harassment, as in the case of street artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh's Stop Telling Women To Smile campaign, which uses posters to empower women and show that catcalling is not acceptable.[4] Of the campaign, Fazlaizadeh has stated that she wants women to re-claim their public space as "(...) women are not outside on the street for the purpose of entertaining and pleasing men".[6]

Notable artists[edit]

  • Lady Pink (USA, NY-based)
  • Tatyana Fazlalizadeh (USA)
  • Shamsia Hassani (Afghanistan)
  • Christina Angelina / Starfighter (USA, California-based)
  • Btoy (Barcelona)
  • Miss Van (Toulouse, France / Barcelona)
  • Ovni / Anna Taratiel (Barcelona / the Netherlands)
  • Evelyn Queiroz / Negahamburguer (Brazil)
  • Kashink (France)
  • JDL Street Art(NL)[7]
  • Girls on Top crew (UK)
  • Fafi (France)
  • Sand One (USA, LA-based)
  • Olek (USA, NY-based)
  • Clare Rojas (USA, SF-based)
  • Maya Hayuk (USA, NY-based)
  • Lady Aiko (USA, NY-based)
  • Vinie Graffiti (France)
  • etc.


  1. ^ Lombard, Kara-Jane. "Men against the wall: Graffiti(ed) masculinities". Journal of Men Studies. 21 (2013): 178–190.
  2. ^ Kelley, Robin D. (1997). Yo' Mama's Disfunktional!: Fighting the Culture Wars in Urban America. Boston: Beacon Press.
  3. ^ a b c Pabón, Jessica N. "The Art of Getting Ovaries: Female Graffiti Artists and the Politics of Presence in Hip Hop's Graffiti Subculture" (NYC). Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ a b Caldwell, Caroline. "Why Aren't "Women Street Artists" Just "Street Artists"?". Hyperallergic. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  5. ^ a b Pabón, Jessica (2013). "Be about it: Graffiteras performing feminist community". The Drama Review. 3: 88–115.
  6. ^ Yong, John (15 March 2013). "Street Art to Combat Street Harassment Faced by Women". Designtaxi. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  7. ^ https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/JDL_street_art

External links[edit]