Just as we prepare ourselves for International Women's Day this week, a new exhibition of work from Alessandra Genualdo and Bijou Karman hopes to add to the theme by turning previously negative connotations of the phrase "Like a Girl" on their head.
Launching at the Pocko Gallery London later this month, the show will celebrate these two incredible talents as well as launch Pocko Social, a new social media arm of London-based artist agency and creative consultancy, Pocko.
Alessandra Genualdo is an Italian artist and illustrator working mainly in gouache and coloured pencil from her studio in Hackney Wick. She draws inspiration from nature, the female body and the women she walks past every day. Her illustrations are very much a tribute to women and, unsurprisingly, she has very strong views on the subject of feminism.
Meanwhile, Bijou Karman paints and illustrates beautiful portraits of strong, stylish and independent women who "never fade into the background". Based in LA, Bijou is inspired by strong women, fashion, and a love of bold colours, print, and plants.
"The world of a girl can be such a complex one – we are born to live with a series of expectations imposed by society, history, culture – some so much more than others," Alessandra says of the show, which she is also curating. "The girls we represent can be anyone who struggle with these barriers, and anyone who overcame them, but who are still proud of being like a girl."
"To be a girl is to be strong, even when you don’t want to be," adds Bijou. "Living in an oppressive society has taught us to work twice as hard to earn the same respect as a man. We can openly express our emotions and aren’t afraid to cry, but this is the result of our inner strength."