Interview with artist Alicia Ross

How you became an artist?

Coming from the medium of photography, the connotations between needlework and “woman’s work” was precisely the reason I started experimenting with embroidery in 2005. While the interpretation of modern femininity varies greatly from artist to artist, I do think that because of its historic connotations as “woman’s work,” embroidery and needlecraft still resonates as a near-universal female gesture. Therefore, the juxtaposition between a female nude, fabricated through needlework communicates these uniquely feminine tensions I’m most interested in.

What inspires you?

Much of my inspiration over the years has remained rooted in the masterworks of the Renaissance. Some of my favorite master artists include Caravaggio, Titian, Rubens, and Goya. Their treatment of the flesh in chiaroscuro, in addition to the momentous scale they often worked, has always been something I’ve revered.

What is the biggest challenge of being a female artist?

I think the challenge for most working artists regardless of gender, is to balance the task of making enough money to live comfortably, and creating the work you feel compelled to make. I have very few colleagues that make a living solely from art making without having a secondary source of income, myself included. Because of societal pressures on women, inequality regarding pay, and other barriers such as pink taxes, this feat is oftentimes even more challenging for female artists. I have seen some museums and galleries make a concerted effort to show the same amount of work by female artists as they do male artists, but this unfortunately isn’t always the case…even in 2020.

What is the goal that you want to achieve this year?

And that’s the answer I prefer to keep only for myself 🙂

Photo. Alicia Ross



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