Less than a year ago in the US started a campaign launching a Nasty Women Unite as a protest against women rights prejudice. The platform is a reaction of female artists against the way Trump called Clinton during the third presidential debate. Thereby the message translated by artists of Nasty Women tends to be an act of solidarity among female artists all over the world.

Instant protest

The project was born several days after the last presidential debate, where Donald Trump called his opponent, Hilary Clinton “nasty woman”. A Brooklyn-based sculptor Roxanne Jackson posted a Facebook message “Hello female artists/curators! let’s organize a NASTY WOMEN group show!!! Who’s interested??? We need a venue!!!!!” and artist Jessamyn Fiore immediately joined in to help launch the initiative.

The work on the project was filled with rebellious and egalitarian spirit at the same time. All the money raised from the event went to Planned Parenthood federation. Furthermore, the organizers proudly state that managed to feature works of artists from 41 countries and over 42 states.

Jessamyn Fiore believes in power of collective work for achieving the noble goal of Nasty Women. “I feel the power of our collective strength and determination and creativity and compassion. We will not tolerate any move backward in time in terms of the policies that affect my body, my health, my quality of life, my freedom,” she says. Roxanne Jackson, arguing about Nasty Women offers an image of the strong and powerful creature, who does not hesitate to prove she deserves her rights being respected: “Nasty woman does not shrink in silence to threats and bullying, especially from bigoted, sexist men; instead, she faces them head on. She fights for what she believes in – the rights of women and the rights of humans. And she will not stop”.

The artists taking part in the organization of the event have their own vision of the mission of Nasty Women. For example, a mixed-media artist Katie Holten thinks that the intent was to “take the word ’nasty’ back, flip it, and run with it. We can’t take the power of words for granted.” Her own project, for instance, was a Pussy Alphabet, black-and-white nude figures forming up the letters of the alphabet.

Helen Zughaib

Devon Urquhart

Harley Kilburn

Nasty Women event entertained the public with the DJ sets, tattoo session, discussions, a comedy show and numerous workshops. Some of the art objects represented in the exhibition were almost crying out slogans as “Power to the Girls“, “Ungrabbable” and even a simple “F U“. After the 15th January 2017, the last day of Nasty Women event all these slogans found their place on t-shirts, tote bags, jewelry and other objects of everyday use.

Next stop: London

Nasty Women London x Creative Debuts runs from 21 to 24, September in London and, as previously in the US, unites female artist with socially influential projects under one roof.

In an interview, Paige Hawley, the curator of London exhibition explains why the upcoming event is important for today’s culture. “We wanted to bring this spirit of creative activism to become a community in London. Holding Nasty Women’s first exhibition in London is important as there’s still a lot of work to do to protect and promote women’s rights here in the UK. Women in the UK face a range of issues—from fighting for equal pay to better representation in business and politics to abortion rights and everyday sexual harassment and the sexualization of women.”

On the web page of the exhibition, there’s a short overview of the essential values, featuring art-objects. These are equality, fairness, and compassion. They gain genuine power when looking outwards, namely when we use our voices to give them birth.

Karina Akopyan

Kat Toronto

Jess de Wahls

Nasty Women Exhibition is an opportunity for people to become the actors of this art process. By embodying voices to lines, shapes and sounds the ideas are getting more likely to perceive. Collaboration with Creative Debuts also promotes young gifted feminist artists, photographers, video makers and helps them find their audience.

The artists who make their contribution to the exhibition have the absolutely different backgrounds, perspectives, and even art approach. The highlighted key issues, however, relate to consent, sex, race and beauty standards. For example, Beirut Helen Zughaib shows Muslim women through Pop Art lens, Devon Urquhart creates paintings with vagina superimposed over various landscapes and photographer Harley Kilburn takes nude photos of her own mother. All the raised money will be donated to charity organizations Rape Crisis England and Wales and Women to Women International.

At the exhibition in London, there is expected a series of sketches where the public will experience various kinds of street harassment, such as anti-Muslim or sexism approaches.


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