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Apr 27, 2017

Why don’t we see more women painting women? The subject of some of the best paintings and sculptures throughout history has been the female form. However, the majority of those works of art have been created by men. This has led to a distinct bias in how women are portrayed in an artistic fashion. My guest, Alia El-Bermani hopes to change that portrayal and give the power of female representation back to women artists! "Women Painting Women" explores how contemporary women painters are handling women as subjects. The blog was founded by artists Alia El-Bermani, Diane Feissel and Sadie Valeri. Check out the link to the blog in the “Resources” section at the end of this post!

Lessons learned as an artist working in a gallery

You’ve heard the perspective of gallery owners on this website before. I’ve had the fortune of interviewing some AMAZING gallery owners. In this conversation, there is a little bit of a twist on the gallery perspective. My guest, Alia El-Bermani spent some time early in her career working in an art gallery. Given this unique perspective as an artist having worked in an art gallery, Alia shared with me some key lessons she learned from her time working there. One lesson that she shares is the realization that it truly is a two-sided relationship between the artist and the gallery. Too often the perception is that of a one sided relationship but that wasn’t what Alia observed. She generously shares more insights from her time in the gallery over our wide-ranging conversation.

Unique Challenges Faced by Women

Women have a uniquely different experience in the workplace than men. They have to fight and claw their way to earn the same type of recognition and respect that their male counterparts enjoy. My guest, Alia El-Bermani and I discuss the different treatment that we’ve experienced in the art world because of our gender. Our goal was, to be honest, and open with how we’ve been treated and to shed a light on the uniquely difficult career trajectory that women face in the art industry. It’s not always easy to be so open and transparent but my hope is that it will be beneficial and informative for followers like you!

Following the path of artistic inspiration

What do origami, snowflakes, and painting have in common? Strange combination right? For my guest, Alia El-Bermani the answer is; inspiration. All three of these creations ended up influencing Alia one day to embark on a new art project. She followed her creative impulse and asked for artists in her community to mail her paper snowflakes, like the ones you made in school as a kid. This idea came to her after playing with an origami kit that one of her children had laying around the house. The product of Alia’s experiment is fascinating, I have been blown away and inspired by her story and I hope you will be too!

Personal Value and Art Value

One of the common missteps that younger artists can tend to make is to shy away from putting a value on their artwork. The other side of that is usually falling for the comparison trap by seeing if they measure up to successful artists that they admire. My guest, Alia El-Bermani faced these difficulties early on in her art career. As she looks back, she wants to encourage artists of all walks to really own and appreciate their story. Alia also stresses the need for artists to feel free to confidently make a living by selling their art.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:45] My introduction to today’s guest, Alia El-Bermani.
  • [2:50] Alia’s decision to become an artist.
  • [6:40] The post-college career path.
  • [10:00] Lessons learned working in an art gallery.
  • [15:00] Women painting women.
  • [22:30] Unique challenges faced by women.
  • [31:50] Alia’s studio schedule.
  • [35:30] Incorporating paper into the painting process.
  • [46:00] Advice Alia would give to her younger self.
  • [53:00] One piece of art from a living artist Alia would like to own.

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

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