A selfie stick, the management of social networks of a ‘young millenial’ and a feminist message without concessions has made the Swedish artist one of the most relevant of her generation.
Arvida Byström is the Swedish artist who is already late to meet. Late, but on time. Its validity in the current artistic panorama and in the new photographic representation of the female body is supported by the aesthetics that begin to embrace some of the most important international fashion firms for the late millennials and generation Z, such as Adidas or Urban Outfitters, or even Gucci by Michele, who in her adventure of patronage of novice artists seems to have set her eyes on her. Or that invites you to think about his presence at the last LACMA gala and the fact that his Instagram profile is starting to fill with images with products from the Florentine brand.
But this is only the most commercial facet of her work, something that Byström does not lose sight of, unlike other feminist artists whose message has found a speaker in fashion, she does not justify or ambiguously surround the line between activism and publicity, although that does not prevent him from recognizing the positive of the dissemination of the message by influential business actors. When we do this interview Arvida is immersed in many more projects that reveal its real importance in the current feminist art scene: an exhibition at the Steinsland Berliner gallery in Stockholm, another at the Museum of Fine Arts in Leipzig, Germany, and a book edited with Molly Soda titled Pics Or It Did not Happen.
As many of us who share with her year of birth, confesses to have reached the age of majority “basically in the network”, the medium that has allowed her art, aesthetically girly and, at the same time, with a nonnegotiable message of feminist claim, has transcended geographical borders. Byström looks back and describes herself as “a manual girl, I wanted to be a princess, I loved pink, Disney princesses and anything adorable like animals. In adolescence I suddenly became very alternative. I still liked pink, but I adopted a very MySpace look. “
And again, like most of his generation, he learned everything he knows by reading posts and spending time on Tumblr, a medium that was key in his artistic awakening and evolution. “Because of my depressive tendencies and social anxiety, I found security on the other side of the screen,” he confesses. “That allowed me to be creative without facing the face with people. The arrival of web 2.0 gave a new importance to the visual, the digital cameras became cheaper and I quickly realized that all the queens of the Network knew how to take exciting images “
Being in the modeling agency was painful. You constantly turn out to have the wrong measurements, and you’re just a girl. – Arvida Byström-
At age 16, a photography blog was opened with which it reached a wider audience. “Eventually, when I was about 18 years old, I discovered feminism, and a couple of years later I ended up in Tumblr feminist circles.” The delicate beauty of Arvida usually stars in her own photographs, which therefore enter into a universe usually associated with the feminine, and in which are elements that challenge the convention of feminine beauty and corporeity and that, however, can not be more inherent to the woman’s body. Body hair in the armpits, legs or pubes, menstrual blood in some of their fashion editorials for headers, are introduced as small time bombs against the norm that is imposed on the female body, to prove that no, we are not yet, as a society, at that point of peace with all the realities of the woman’s body, not even with the most obvious ones (like the one of hey, yes, we have hair, in the armpits and beyond) but that in our hand is getting to be soon. You only have to see the aggressive reaction that your photos receive from numerous Instagram users to understand that the woman’s body has not freed itself from the expectations that a tradition of distorted visual representation has imposed on all of us.