“You can walk into a museum like the Met or MoMA and less than five per cent of the work is created by women, not to mention WoC,” says photographer Petra Collins, calling out the whitewashed boys’ club that is the art world. “It’s hard for us to see a place in society where there is space to produce and share ideas of our own.”
The Toronto-born, NYC-based artist is at the forefront of creating space for girls to be seen and heard, even if white-cube galleries don’t want to embrace it. Through pastel-tinged images that capture the power, beauty and reality of the young female experience, Collins validates the perspective of girls everywhere.
Sure, the outspoken 23-year-old spends most of her time photographing other people, but she also believes representing yourself on your own terms is one of the most liberating things you can do. “The selfie, especially, has revolutionised the way that we are able to represent ourselves,” she says. “It makes it possible for people who have little representation to create images of their own, and because of social media we have platforms for them.”
Next, Collins will be following last year’s stunning publication Babe with a new book pushing the boundaries of her work. “It’s going to feature a new photo series that I’ve been working on for the past year. I’m stoked about it because it’s a new step for me and an evolution of my aesthetic.”
Text Monique Todd