The Powerful Women of Pop Culture Get Their Own Portrait Show

Laura, Shuri, Leia, and Dany as imagined by Ashly Lovett
Image: Ashly Lovett (Gallery 1988)
Toys and CollectiblesAction figures, statues, exclusives, and other merchandise. Beware: if you look here, you’re probably going to spend some money afterwards.

When Louisiana-based artist Ashly Lovett decided to do a gallery show based on the women of pop culture, narrowing down the options wasn’t easy.

“I had a hard time at first,” Lovett told io9 via email. “There are so many powerful figures to choose from. Ultimately, I thought it was best to narrow them down by their roles in the film. Not just by the parts they played, but what their characters represented. Whether that was a ruler, a villain, a soldier, a victim, a survivor, or a scientist, each woman has a different story to tell. I wanted to showcase their strengths, vulnerabilities, desires, and dreams.”

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The result is called “The Female Gaze” and it’s on display at Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles, CA through August 17. Here are a few of the pieces in the show, which are available in multiple formats, from paintings to sketches and even prints.

Danny by Ashly Lovett
Image: Ashly Lovett (Gallery 1988)
Gamora by Ashly Lovett
Image: Ashly Lovett (Gallery 1988)
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Laura by Ashly Lovett
Image: Ashly Lovett (Gallery 1988)
Hela by Ashly Lovett
Image: Ashly Lovett (Gallery 1988)
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Shuri by Ashly Lovett
Image: Ashly Lovett (Gallery 1988)

“I already had an affinity for drawing female portraiture [and] I’m a sucker for melodically [working] with organic flowing shapes,” Lovett said of her inspiration. “When I pitched the idea for the solo show, I had already been doing a lot of this type of work. It all worked out naturally.” You can see what she means on her website here.

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She also acknowledged that while the sorts of mega-blockbusters she’s tackling with this exhibit haven’t done a great job representing women in the past, these characters mark the start of a shift.

“It’s true that women aren’t represented as well. And audiences are demanding more, which is fantastic,” Lovett said. “I wanted ‘The Female Gaze’ to be a platform to celebrate really great characters and the actors who play them.”

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You can see the full show, which also features Princess Leia, Alita, Ripley, Sarah Connor, and others, at this link, and even buy some if you want.


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About the author

Germain Lussier

Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo