Using watercolour and acrylic to create powerful female portraits, artist Amanda Kaufman explores her own existence as a biracial woman and addresses themes like body image and confidence.
Completely self-taught and based in Los Angeles, Amanda grew up with a strong Jewish influence. Her father's family are from California; her mother's side from Mexico. "I feel like I’ve been healing through portraits of women that look like me," she explains. "Painting ethnic minority women as a way to erase the Eurocentric beauty standards that have been instilled in me.
"My grandmother (blonde and blue-eyed) taught me how to paint. She painted nude women, as I’ve done for years. She taught me how to paint the female form. Beauty was literally presented to me as a white woman by a white woman. I’m not sure the exact moment I started on my path to self-acceptance but it’s been a long road and still lies far in the distance. I must have gotten to a point as an adult where I realised that I had a vision of what women were supposed to look like and I didn’t fit that idea.
"I started painting women with no faces so that any woman could relate to my paintings. From there I started painting women in colours other than skin tones so that there was no woman that would feel excluded by my work."
With no formal training other than learning from her grandmother, it wasn't until a few years ago when a friend encouraged Amanda to pursue her art. "With a ton of hesitation, I did, and haven’t stopped. Since then, I’ve done poster artwork, group shows and just recently had my first solo show. All from one step into the unknown, I have found my love and have accepted myself as an artist."
To discover more about Amanda Kaufman, check her out on Instagram.