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Kelly Reemtsen is a contemporary American artist, best known for her paintings and prints of elaborately 1950s styled women carrying household tools such as shovels, axes and chainsaws. Though they can be interpreted as variably sweet or menacing, the images investigate the role of the modern woman. Reemtsen’s paintings are characterized where paint is laid on an area of the surface in very thick layers,usually thick enough that the brush or painting-knife strokes are visible. Reemtsen’s prints including woodcuts, etchings and screenprints.

Cropped at the shoulders, Reemtsen’s headless women remain anonymous and, importantly, universal. She draws the figures, dresses and props from life in her Los Angeles studio. Family and friends are her models and she uses her extensive collection of vintage fashion to dress them. Reemtsen draws on her own life experiences and those close to her for inspiration.

“I believe the value of women in England, similar to the US, is of lower value to men. Women are no longer second-class citizens but aren’t equal to men either. My aim is to continue my crusade into London, my crusade being equal rights for equal work. It should be simple but it’s not. Why are we still talking about this and when will things change?” – Kelly Reemtsen

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