A South London-based digital artist has sprinkled #BlackGirlMagic all over Vincent van Gogh‘s timeless floral paintings. Aisha Mohamed, 22, reinterpreted Van Gogh’s work with the faces of Black women like songstress Solange, models Alek Wek, Duckie Thot, Adut Akech, and actress Zoë Kravitz, Buzzfeed reported.
Mohamed was compelled to create the collection of images to celebrate Black women, make them more visible in the art space, and to visually defy the stereotypes that society places on them, the news outlet said.
While coming of age Mohamed had a love-hate relationship with art. Although she loved to create, while growing up she rarely saw women who looked like her in her favorite pieces. “I couldn’t help but notice that I never saw myself reflected in any of my favorite pieces. It was an isolating feeling. In a way, this piece was about reclaiming this very white space and saying, ‘We’re here and we’re beautiful.'” The lack of representation pushed her to create pieces that Black women could identify with.
Mohamed wanted to leverage social media as an avenue to display what she calls “different versions of our blackness.” “Black women are art. And not only when our bodies are sexualized and oiled up. I feel like I have a responsibility as a black woman to represent us in my art,” she said. “I wanted to make something that young black girls could feel connected to.”
Mohamed’s work definitely resonated with many people. As soon as she posted the collection of images online they went viral with thousands of likes and retweets. Scores of people on Twitter reached out to Mohamed to say they are awe-inspiring by her work.
The overwhelmingly positive response towards her body of work has illustrated a need for more art centered around Black women and has encouraged her to continue creating. Many artists are using their craft to celebrate Black womanhood. A Chicago artist recently created a larger than life mural that features iconic Black women who have left indelible marks on the city.