Above a feed of bright, fantastically exaggerated and canvas-filling female bodies illustrator, the bio of New-York based illustrator Amber Vittoria displays the mission statement: “Dismantling societal tropes set upon women.” Essentially inspired by the human form, the artist’s works feature a collection of softly rounded, wobbling forms that are both vivid and whimsical, tender and empowering.
Vittoria, who has created commissions for brands such as Gucci and Google, uses her online platform to contribute to a larger conversation on body positivity. “As a visitor to museums and galleries, I could never relate to the women portrayed (mainly by men) within the work,” the artist tells WOM. “That’s when I decided to make work I could see myself in, and I’ve been fortunate others can see themselves in it too.”
Her portraits are inspired by a mix of real and imagined figures and tell the stories of the artist herself and those around her, subverting the traditional and idealised images of women that underpin a visual arts culture still underpinned by the male gaze. There is something comforting and joyful about these images that are so flamboyant yet unapologetically authentic in their depictions of hairy limbs and bulging curves.
Hailing from New York state, the artist now lives and works in NYC, a city that “has always been such a huge part of my life” and forms an integral role in her creative identity. “Because it is a large city, it can feel large and intimidating,” considers the artist, who also delivers talks and hosts workshops on themes ranging from practical illustration skills to personal development. “But every creative I’ve met since moving here after college is incredibly kind, thoughtful, and willing to grab a coffee.”
Vittoria’s works pay tribute to the diversity and beauty of female bodies against the context of a larger body positivity movement, which is in turn flourishing thanks to the dissemination of such artworks on platforms such as Instagram. “By creating honest work, we can educate each other about our unique stories,” says the artist, whose works speak of a new mode of storytelling – one that holds the power to change perspectives, reverse stereotypes and evolve our understanding of representation.
See more of Amber Vittoria’s work on her Instagram.