Celebrate Women’s History Month with This Badass Artwork

Girl power.

March is Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating it in a very creative way. We asked some of the best artists around to reimagine female heroes as art, and the results are beautiful. And moving. From Madonna to Frida Kahlo and Lupita Nyong’o, these badass ladies each contributed to women’s history in their own nuanced ways. Check out the incredible art, in addition to some powerful quotes and artist commentary. Let us know who your female hero is in the comments.

  • 1 Frida Kahlo, artist
    Michael Scoggins
    “I was born a bitch. I was born a painter.” Artwork by Michael Scoggins. Artist Commentary: Frida Kahlo is pure talent. Her ability to tap into tragedy to create such powerful and mesmerizing works is not only inspiring but shows us that art is so much more than mere decoration. Art is political, Art is action, Art is healing, Art is emotion, Art is humanity.

  • 2 Lupita Nyong’o, actress
    Tran Nguyen
    “I’m curious. I’m excited. I’m ready.” Artwork by Tran Nguyen.

  • 3 Big Ang
    quick honey
    “I’m not there for a long time, I’m here for a good time!” Artwork by QuickHoney.

  • 4 Yoko Ono, multimedia artist, singer, songwriter, and peace activist
    Sergio Barrale
    “When people don’t understand my work, I don’t feel like explaining.” Artwork by Sergio Barrale. Artist Commentary: Yoko has endured such tragedy, the Great ones always do. I think that part of the painful journey is to teach others about it with their Art, their Words & their Music.

  • 5 Gloria Steinem, social and political activist, feminist, and journalist
    James Harvey
    “The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.” Artwork by James Harvey. Artist Commentary: I came away having found out what the older generation have known for 50 years – Gloria Steinem is a goddamn hero. If you’re a Steinem virgin like me, you could do worse than to spend at least part of Women’s History Month finding out more about this brave, fiercely intelligent, hilarious and effortlessly cool lady.

  • 6 Debbie Harry
    ” alt=”DEBBIE-HARRY-WOOD-607×800[1]”]“I have a lot of regrets, but I’m not going to think of them as regrets.” Artwork by Shepard Fairey

  • 7 Madonna, singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman
    Liz Winnel
    “I am my own experiment. I am my own art.” Artwork by Liz Winnel. Artist Commentary: Madonna has always been at the forefront of powerful and magnetic music and art, using herself, her own voice, her own aesthetic to connect, move, inspire, communicate, and question societal agreements and culture at large.

  • 8 Billie Holiday
    Michael Ezzell
    “If I’m going to sing like someone else, then I don’t need to sing at all.” Artwork by Michael Ezzell Artist Commentary: Billie’s voice is so iconic of blues and the jazz age, which has come to influence the mood and style of my work. She was a breakthrough artist in her time, because she was true to herself and her sound. That message is so important for all artists, to stay true to yourself and not try to emulate something you’re not.

  • 9 Janis Joplin, singer
    Beau Stanton
    “Don’t compromise yourself. You’re all you’ve got.” Artwork by Beau Stanton.

  • 10 Missy Elliott, singer, songwriter, and record producer
    Tim Okamura
    “If I didn’t have some kind of education, then I wouldn’t be able to count my money.” Artwork by Tim Okamura. Artist Commentary: Over a long and prestigious career, Ms. Elliot has proven herself to be a true original, a pioneer, and a hip-hop trailblazer. From her unique sound, to her stunning visuals, and unique, fresh sense of style, she changed the game and her influence and relevance is still in full effect.

  • 11 Katharine Hepburn, actress
    Eric White
    “If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased.” Artwork by Eric White. Artist Commentary: This is a detail from an older painting of mine about an imaginary relationship between Kate and Charles Mingus. I am obsessed with 40s Hollywood and Hepburn is one of my favorites. She changed the game in many ways.

  • 12 Kimberly Elise, actress and star of Hit the Floor
    Faye Orlove
    “The power of a woman’s natural beauty and unaltered essence crosses all dimensions and boundaries. Know your worth, honor it, and you will affect the universe.” Artwork by Faye Orlove.

  • 13 Diana Ross, singer, songwriter, actress, and record producer
    Anna Dittman
    “It takes a long time to get to be a diva. I mean, you gotta work at it.” Artwork by Anna Dittman. Artist Commentary: “And you know those public fat shamers who fake ’concern’ for Melissa McCarthy’s health? Consider me your fire with fire.”

  • 14 Dr. Jenn Berman, lead therapist on Family Therapy
    Adam Vohlidka
    “There is no Prince Charming; rescue yourself.” Artwork by Adam Vohlidka.

  • 15 Zoe Saldana, actress
    Sam Wolfe Connelly
    “People think of Latina women as being fiery and fierce, which is usually true. But I think the quality that so many Latinas possess is strength.” Artwork by Sam Wolfe Connelly.

  • 16 Eartha Kitt, actress, singer, dancer and Bond girl
    Dilraj Mann
    “A man has always wanted to lay me down but he never wanted to pick me up.” Artwork by Dilraj Mann.

  • 17 Dr. Ruth, American sex therapist, media personality and author
    Britt Spencer
    “Curvy women need to visit a museum. Men have been attracted to those curves forever and still are. They can’t help it and that helps you.” Artwork by Britt Spencer. Artist Commentary: It’s not altogether pleasurable to think about your grandmother having sex. And not just any sex, but great sex that comes from two adults really knowing their bodies!”

  • 18 Mary J. Blige, singer, songwriter, model, record producer and actress
    Mohamed Danawi
    “I know who I am. I am not perfect. I’m not the most beautiful woman in the world. But I’m one of them.” Artwork by Mohamed Danawi. Artist Commentary: I was inspired by her strong presence both on and off stage. She commands attention. She also emanates sexual power. I chose to focus on her hair, which turned into a whip, and on her dress with figures trapped inside.

  • 19 Queen Latifah, singer, songwriter, rapper, model, actress, and producer
    Ben Ward
    “You have to stand for what you believe in and sometimes you have to stand alone.” Artwork by Ben Ward.

  • 20 Mona Scott-Young, CEO of Monami Entertainment and creator of Love & Hip Hop
    Faye Orlove
    “In life there are no mistakes, just experiences.” Artwork by Faye Orlove.

  • 21 Clair Huxtable, famous TV mom
    Michael Porten
    “Ladies, don’t ever let what a man brings to the table be all you have to eat.” Artwork by Michael Porten. Artist Commentary: I see Clair Huxtable as a very energetic, extremely versatile, capable, powerful, and hilarious iconic woman. I think the quote chosen to represent her is indicative of her independence as well as her beliefs in what balances and strengthens a relationship.

  • 22 Alison Bechdel, cartoonist
    Matt Rota
    “I’ll watch a movie only if it meets the following criteria: 1. It has to have at least two women in it. 2. Who talk to each other. 3. About something besides a man.” Artwork by Matt Rota.

  • 23 Lena Horne, dancer, actress, and civil rights activist
    Dennis "Bagger43" Brown
    “You have to be taught to be second-class – you’re not born that way.” Artwork by Dennis “Bagger43” Brown. Artist Commentary: Lena Horne is remarkable! She was a multiracial-American singer, dancer, actress, and civil rights activist with an active career spanning over 70 years…I was really captivated by video footage of her performances of the 1940s.

  • 24 Taraji P. Henson, actress
    Blake Wright
    “At the end of the day, everybody understands love, loss, pain and heartbreak. That’s not a color.” Artwork by Blake Wright. Artist Commentary: I suspect plenty of actors can “act” confident, but to command a room, a scene, a show? That’s no act!

  • 25 Sally Ride, first American woman in space
    Will Penny
    “The stars don’t look bigger, but they do look brighter.” Artwork by Will Penny.

  • 26 Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of The Special Olympics
    Lee Crutchley
    “Looks fade. Brains don’t.” Artwork by Lee Crutchley. Artist Commentary: Eunice Kennedy Shriver was an amazing woman who fought hard for a cause that is close to my heart. She wanted to improve and enhance the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. But rather than just talking about it, she did it.