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  • Petra van Bellen

In conversation with the artist about the role of women and superficiality

In this blog post you will get insights into my life and about my motivation, behind my artistic work.

Why did you specialize in the topic of women and superficiality?

I have specialized in the topic of women and superficiality, because I am a woman myself and in retrospect, superficiality has accompanied me for half a life.

As a child, I often heard beliefs such as "Always pay attention to your appearance so that you are noticed" or "clothes make people", later I worked in the fashion industry, where everything revolved around the external appearance of the woman and the social role she had to fulfill. In the process, I slipped more and more into my roles and increasingly lost myself in my own superficiality.

It cost me a lot of strength and energy to play the strong, successful woman, while I asked myself more and more often: "Who am I and what do I actually want?"

My burnout helped me answer this question. In depth, I discovered my new strength and energy that enabled me to turn my passion into a profession. I decided to unfold the artist in me and no longer play a role, but simply to be myself.

On the screen, I now express my feelings, fears and strengths and share my experiences as a woman with other women.

Through my own story, I am convinced that women are much more than just their appearance. I would like to encourage women not to reduce themselves to their superficiality and to discover their inner strength and beauty.

Who is your art for?

I believe that my art is made for everyone who is attracted to it and can make a connection to my expression and my message.

My art is for people who are looking for inner strength and beauty and feel addressed by women as a symbol for these topics.

Although women are at the center of my art, I also think that men can identify with my work and be inspired by it.

Since I come from the fashion industry and the visual, my art is also of interest to those who have a passion for this area. I try to incorporate influences from my experience in the fashion industry into my work.

I also believe that my art can be therapeutic and can help others to overcome similar challenges as I have done. In my art, I express my own experiences, feelings and insights, which can help others to better understand themselves and to overcome their own challenges.

Overall, I think that my art is suitable for anyone who is addressed by it and is inspired by it.

What beautiful moments do you associate with your topic?

I associate many beautiful moments with my art, because every time I work on a new image and dive into the creative process, I feel free and alive. It is a feeling of fulfillment and happiness when I can bring my ideas and emotions to the screen and thereby establish a connection to myself.

The beautiful moments that I associate with my art also have a lot to do with the process of how I put superficiality into the different structures and layers.

It is a way of reflecting and expressing myself and my thoughts. When I put my brushes on the canvas, it feels like I'm dived into a diary. It is a very personal moment in which I incorporate my innermost thoughts and emotions into art.

And through the different layers and structures that I put on the canvas, the whole thing becomes even more intense. The colors, shapes and textures merge and create a kind of depth and dimension that give the viewer an insight into my inner world.

It is a process of layering and removal, a play between surface and depth that ultimately leads to a work of art that is full of meaning and beauty. And it is a wonderful feeling to know that with my art I can have an influence on the world and inspire people with it.

What excites you about your topic?

I am absolutely enthusiastic about my topic of women and superficiality, because it is a topic that is very close to my heart and that I have dealt with on a personal level.

I believe that it excites me so much precisely because I know from my own experience how much the superficiality in our society influences women and how important it is to free yourself from it.

I am convinced that the woman is a symbol of inner strength and beauty and that in our superficial world it is often difficult to find and appreciate these strengths.

With my art, I would therefore like to help other women to discover and celebrate their own inner beauty and strength.

I am firmly convinced that it is possible to free yourself from the shackles of superficiality and that it can help to deal with yourself and find your own inner strength and beauty.

In my works, I express my own experiences, feelings and insights and want to encourage other women to go their own way and discover their own inner beauty.

Overall, I am convinced that my topic of women and superficiality is an important contribution to the discussion about the inner strength and beauty of women and that it can help us all to break away from superficial standards and focus on the essentials.

What frustrates you about your topic?

One thing that frustrates me about my topic of women and superficiality is the fact that women are often condemned or even condemned because of their appearance.

It is sad to see that so many women in our society are still judged by what they look like, rather than by their character or abilities.

This often leads to women being under enormous pressure to meet the superficial standards, to be accepted or admired. This can lead to a loss of self-esteem and a lack of self-acceptance.

It is also frustrating to see women being lured into a beauty trap by the media and advertising that often propagates unrealistic beauty standards. These standards are often unattainable and lead to women not recognizing or appreciating their own beauty and uniqueness. Instagram is the best example of this.

However, I believe that it is possible to tackle this problem by actively working to ensure that women are no longer condemned or condemned on the basis of their appearance.

We should work to ensure that women are recognized for their talents, abilities and traits and not just for their appearance. By promoting self-acceptance and the appreciation of inner beauty, we can encourage women to free themselves from superficial standards and to develop their full potential.

What would you like to change in relation to your topic?

The patriarchy in the art scene.

It is the long history of the under-representation of female artists in museums, galleries and art collections.

For centuries, male artists were preferred and their works were considered more valuable and significant, while works by female artists were often overlooked or considered less important.

This has led to the fact that women in the art scene often find it difficult to be recognized and successful. There are numerous examples of talented female artists who were discriminated against on the basis of their gender identity and could achieve little recognition and success.

Although there has been progress in recent decades by feminist art movements and activists campaigning for greater visibility and equality of women in the art scene, the patriarchy still remains a formative influence on the art world.

  • According to a study by artnet News in 2021, female artists represented only about 2-5% of auction sales at the most important auction houses worldwide.

These statistics show that women are still underrepresented and disadvantaged in the art scene.

There is still much to be done to create a fairer and more equal art world.

What effect should your art have on people?

My art should have an effect that inspires people to deal with their own experiences and emotions and to detach themselves from social norms and expectations.

I want to convey courage and strength through my art to go into my own depths and free myself from superficiality.

The women in my pictures should represent a symbolism of inner strength and beauty and thus convey a sense of empowerment.

I would like to raise awareness of the under-representation of women in the art scene by portraying strong and self-confident women and thus contribute to a change in the art business.

So my art should not only be beautiful to look at, but also have a social impact that helps women to receive more recognition and visibility in the art scene.


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