SHE SLAPS features 536 street art stickers by 85 contemporary women artists from 20 countries around the world. Drawn from the private collection of Oliver Baudach, founder and director of Hatch Kingdom Sticker Museum in Berlin, Germany, the exhibition includes stickers individually drawn, painted, and/or printed by the artists, as well as silkscreen, offset, and digital designs that were printed in larger runs through commercial services. In the spring of 2019, Baudach also sent out a worldwide call-for-entries for new stickers to add to the SHE SLAPS exhibition and to St. Lawrence University’s Street Art Graphics digital archive.
The exhibition includes portraits of women and men, fanciful “character design” creatures, and various images and text that function as artists’ “tags.” Female personas represented in the exhibition range from dolls, punks, and riot grrls to femmes fatales and leading ladies. A handful of artists address political subjects, with one artist using photos of her cat Illchmann as a spoof on “Grumpy Cat” in order to comment on sexism, racism, and gun violence. The exhibition organizers also noted that the stickers in the show, with few exceptions, exclude images of violence, skulls, or military-related themes often found in stickers by some male artists. Several artists contributed works that are part of an ongoing global campaign called “Streetart Against Hate: To Live and Let Live,” in which artists can download circular templates with text in different languages and design their own stickers.
When asked, many artists in the exhibition indicated that identifying as a female affected their work, while others felt that gender and sexuality did not play a role. All of the artists indicated a strong sense of solidarity among street artists in general, however, whether male or female. -Catherine Tedford, gallery director
A grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to the U.S. Council of Independent Colleges provided funding support to St. Lawrence University to catalogue stickers by women artists for the Street Art Graphics digital archive. To view photos from the #nohatefamily sticker campaign, visit https://www.instagram.com/levveunlevvelosse/.