Melissa Arostegui

Tools and Sewing
oil on canvas
19 1/2 x 47 1/4 in.

This past year, I’ve focused exclusively on still life paintings. As I immersed myself in this style, I felt called to take these paintings a step further by giving the objects a voice to communicate a message that I’m very passionate about: Women can do whatever they want to do, regardless of gender biases. This new direction evolved as a response to all of the times I have been told that I couldn’t or wouldn’t be able to do something due to my gender. Through conversations with other women, I’ve discovered that I am not alone in being told on many different occasions that I couldn’t or shouldn’t do something because I am female. My work carries a message that speaks to women, empowering them to move past gender biased images and not feel constrained in their lives. I create this message by pairing traditional female images with traditional male objects in my paintings. Each painting is based on my experiences and other women’s experiences of being discriminated against.

© Melissa Arostegui