If Art Deco had happened after the feminist art movement of the 70s, it would take the form of Maine-based illustrator Laura Breiling‘s illustrations. Strong lines frame bold blocks of color and plant motifs figure heavily.
But the women depicted are just as strong and just as bold, and not reduced to mere sexual objects like the women of Patrick Nagel. They strike sassy poses poolside, they take selfies, they breastfeed almost defiantly, and they even regret motherhood (that’s allowed); they love men and women; they lounge, they smoke, they are self-possessed and not afraid to be themselves. These messages of self-love and confidence are the thing to instill in all people, no matter the gender.
Breiling’s political work reaches as far as homosexuality and critiques of capitalism, but her leading ladies have not hindered her appeal to the commercial sector. You can find them in feminist print like Missy Magazine and 360 Magazine, but also in The Vinyl Factory and Bloomberg Businessweek.
All images courtesy of the artist