Somewhere along the way, “millennial” became a dirty word, or at least a tainted one—shorthand for lethargy, entitlement and fecklessness. All the while, young female artists were getting to work. A Women’s Thing spoke to six millennial artists on coming of age at the turn of the century and their own stock-taking of their careers thus far.
Reisha Perlmutter’s works in water is art of the double-take variety, possessing a photographic quality upon first glance. Perlmutter studied painting at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and received her MFA from The New York Academy of Art.
What would most impress a younger you about where you are today?
Reisha Perlmutter: I really love this question. That’s probably because I spent a lot of time as a child envisioning myself as an adult. I can vividly recall sitting in ficus tree in my backyard when I was in third grade, and having the extremely deliberate thought that I was never going to let anybody tell me what I could or could not do. I also promised myself that I would be strong and successful.
In my second grade diary, I wrote that I would be an artist when I grew up. I think that was one of the few times I verbally wrote an affirmation in my childhood. Becoming a strong female artist that didn’t take no for an answer was an unavoidable path I set for myself.
Looking back, I can’t help but smile at how stubborn my vision for myself was. I think it’s what has kept me fighting for this pursuit of creation that in many ways defines me on the deepest of levels. I have encountered so many instances where people tried to tell me no—I wasn’t whatever enough to make it, I couldn’t take the mandatory classes to major in art.
I didn’t listen to anybody. I kept trying, for myself and for the child I made that promise to.
For more in this series, check out Art in the Age of Instagram: Alina Birkner.