shifting perceptions with Amber Vittoria
By Lena Blacker
On Your Mark
Who is Amber Vittoria?
The New York City based artist Amber Vittoria is shifting perceptions of the female body by balancing conventionally displeasing shapes with an aesthetic, bright colour palette.
Her mix of androgynous faces, morphed bodies and subtly surrealist elements reflect her intersectional feminism in a political but also fun, light-hearted depiction.
Working alongside many well-known brands (Gucci, The New York Times, Condé Nast), Vittoria says that this ‘definitely’ gives her confidence that she’s part of a movement of feminism that’s making its way into mainstream popular culture.
We recently had the chance to speak to Amber herself about her artwork and how she transforms inspiration into reality.
Vittoria captions her work with, although short, often political titles which encapsulate each piece. She told us that “Politics heavily influences [her] work, as policy derived from government systems heavily affects day-to-day life.”
From a methodological standpoint, Vittoria’s work is a balance of digital and analogue processes — blocking in shapes digitally before printing out the forms and working with brush pens. Her preferred mediums are “both drawing and painting, depending on the content of the piece itself”.
Her trademark use of a bright and warm colour palette creates intentional links to femininity, her goal with this being “to invite viewers in to feel comfortable with having the uncomfortable conversations [her] work aims to address”. For example, the piece 'On You' "speaks to our society's patriarchal gaze on women".
With a style comparable to the likes of Matisse, Picasso and Henry Moore (all male artists), it is refreshing to have a female perspective. The female creatives who inspire Vittoria the most are Isabelle Feliu and Steph DeAngelis.
All of the colours are my favourite
Challenging societal perception's of the female figure is a big part of Vittoria's work; she aims to represent and question how we perceive women's bodies through her metamorphosis of the human form.
We were intrigued to know if Vittoria had always represented female body in this way, she told us that “[Her] work has evolved over time, but as an adult artist has focused around the form.”
Gabriella e Carmella
Her collaborative film ‘A Prickly Subject’ by Helen Plumb showcased by the Barbican as part of a series of new short films directed by emerging filmmakers in response to the themes explored by The Art of Change, explores the trials and choices of living with natural body hair.
We discussed the importance of the narrative on female body hair and whether it is changing positively, Amber’s response was that “People should be able to choose live with body hair, with some body hair, and without body hair without judgement. Removing the tropes surrounding body hair will help foster that way of thinking.”
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