Art Attack Gallery: 100 Queer Women Artists In Your Face

We have declared February ART ATTACK month, like how last year we declared March PURE POETRY MONTH. All month long we’re gonna talk about visual art! You don’t even have to know how to read to play along, which means this’d be a great time to introduce your cat to Autostraddle. (If you’re an artist or a writer who wants to submit your stuff for Art Attack month, you can see our submissions guidelines here.)

So, to kick off this tiny month of big love, we’ve got 100 pictures of work by queer women for you. We gathered our information re: the queerness of these women via Wikipedia, the GLBTQ Encyclopedia and Feminine Moments (the latter of which is a kickass resource for finding queer lady artists!).

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3202 articles for us.


  1. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



  2. this is really exciting! but you guys missed an important one – french surrealist photographer, claude cahun.. she was challenging gender norms though self-representation decades before there was much theory to explain it! yet unfortunately since the surrealist circles were largely homophobic and uncomfortable with her gender expression, she was excluded from art history until recently. here are some of her images: her work is incredible, and relevant to your (meaning the universal autostraddler) interests, i’m sure :)

    • As I was looking through the pictures I was so sad because Romaine Brooks and Claude Cahun weren’t in there, but then Romaine Brooks popped up at the end.
      Still, Claude Cahun is one of my absolute favourite artists, so I’m glad I’m not the only one who missed her!

      But still, love the range of media and time periods. I saw some of Catherine Opie’s photos when they were at the Portland Art Museum, and they’re so beautiful, especially her portraits of Kate Moennig

    • actually i just couldn’t find any picture of hers that was high-res enough to use in the gallery! but i SEARCHED the hell out of that woman

  3. also, i saw allyson mitchell do an artist talk at my school last year – she’s absolutely hilarious and ingenious!

  4. Nice, so much Art!! Art Art ART!! Thanks for the inspiration, I really needed it :) I should be drawing a singing person by now >.<

  5. Don’t forget the insanely talented (and adorable) Julie Mehretu and her wife Jessica Rankin!! Amazing artists and queer ladies- love it!

  6. it’s bugging me that autostraddle introduced me to more of these artists than any of the classes i took as an art major

  7. Ahhhhh, this collection wins ALL OF THE AWARDS. It’s so wonderfully diverse.

    I do wish you would have included Mickalene Thomas, though! She’s an awesome NY-based lesbian painter. Who uses glitter. And rhinestones. GLITTER AND RHINESTONES.

  8. Call me a Bad Person, but I didn’t click on this article until the thumbnail was changed to that picture of a girl with her shirt half taken off.

  9. i really hope this list was just random gay/queer woman who happen to do art, rather than a list of art works by queer woman, because some of these works by these nobodies are awful.

  10. i tend to agree. it’s an injustice to the work of canonical artists like annie leibovitz, frida kahlo, georgia o’keeffe, and berenice abbott to be grouped with (no offense) artists who are relatively unheard of and whose work circulates primarily on the internet. i would rather see artwork that is queer in nature by artists who are not necessarily queer themselves (like nan goldin)

    • Actually, the establishment of a canon is not necessarily based strictly on the merits of the works themselves, particularly when artists from a minority group are concerned. The canon (itself very loosely defined and developing from tradition rather than a rational process of assessment and selection) is determined by people who are already part of an establishment of some kind – museums, university departments, galleries, the art-world elite. Including works by artists who have both been admitted and excluded from this group, so long as works have been chosen by merit, offers no insult to artists such as Kahlo or others.

      For artists working now, who are younger, or don’t have access to the major galleries, either because they don’t live in New York or LA or can’t network their way into that system for other reasons (again being in a minority group is a factor here), circulating work on the internet is the only real alternative in order to get attention – not necessarily a comment on the quality of their works.

    • I have to agree with toomanybooks. Honestly, the canon is a generally patriarchal model, because the establishment itself is – and generally determined by white, cis, straight men because that’s how the art world works.

      Being part of the canon doesn’t make you BETTER, and though we have been taught how to appreciate those works and what their motivations, meanings and history are, it is still a largely subjective process whether or not a work is “good”, much less “art”.

      It does a disservice to artists who may not have the financial means to submit everywhere or the network to get into the system to be heard of or get their works in galleries or museums to NOT mix them in. I actually really, really appreciate AutoStraddle for not just rehashing the same five artists we are already aware of.

      Also, it’s not the job of a blog to show you people you already know about.

      • I was trying not to be harsh, but I guess that made my meaning unclear.

        I’m aware of how the canon is established and that there are artists not included in the canon with extremely meaningful, beautiful, and ‘good’ work. I completely agree that including work such as this offers no offense at all to those artists listed previously.

        My point was that, like facepalm, I found several of the included works to be without merit. I’m not suggesting that the handful of more well known artists are the only ones whose work has value. Much of the other work included absolutely warranted being put on this list. I only meant to suggest that maybe the list should have included 50-75 quality artists and left out ones that, to me at least, seemed to be used as filler.

  11. don’t forget diane dimassa! (creator of hothead paisan, the lesbian homicidal maniac!)

    also, didn’t know tove jansson was queer. i love moomin!

  12. Woo! Awesometimes are here. I so need to sit here and read all of this instead of going to work. Going to link to this fabulousness too if that’s all right….

  13. all these suggestions makes me feel like we need a subsite/tumblr/thing just to feature an awesome queer artist a day

    • YES! This is also where Wild Flag formed, to do the soundtrack (Carrie Brownstein, Mary Timony, and Janet Weiss!!!!)

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