The importance of the female figure and its modes of representation is positioned at the center of the body of work of the American artist Whitney Avra. Graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Education and with a past as an elementary teacher, in her first series of works, “The Matriarchs”, the salient points of Whitney Avra’s style and artistic production can be easily identified.
Avra's works are positioned not only as an exploration of the facets of that female identity all too often represented through the male gaze but also as a bridge between past, modern and contemporary female figurative art in the creation of a single narrative continuum.
“In a world where every aspect is dominated by men, I will continue to build my own seat and pull it up to the table.” - quote via artist website.
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Starting from vintage photographs, Avra's creative path is structured through the use of multiple media. As stated by the artist in an interview with Society6, once the image has been chosen, the next step is the structuring of the halo, focal point of the ethos of her works, and a component of manual finishings.
Blocks of colors in the form of peplums and holy halos as if they were crowns, thanks to the layering of different techniques and the blending of sacred and profane elements, women of the past are presented by the artist as contemporary saints, current heroines of historic feminist battles.