Brooklyn’s ELLE is at the front of a pack of female street and graffiti artists clawing their way into what has historically been a male-run art scene. Her murals of strong women cloaked in bright colors and wolf imagery howl characteristics of female power. They’ve earned her attention both in the U.S. and abroad and established her as an advocate for gender equality.
Since the start of her art career in New York seven years ago, ELLE has collaborated with renowned photographer Martha Cooper, accepted a $100,000 sponsorship from Liquitex and travelled all around the world, working on commercial projects in places including Malaysia, Germany and Mexico.
ELLE was born and raised in California with her three siblings. After graduating from college, she spent a year at Brandeis University working toward a post baccalaureate degree in art. Frustrated with the sexist ideology of the program, ELLE quit and moved to New York. She landed in Brooklyn, dated an artist and got involved in graffiti. When they broke up, she shifted more toward street art, carving out her own style and sense of independence.
Now, most of ELLE’s downtime is spent in her quaint and sunny Greenpoint studio. When she’s not out spraying, collaging or wheat pasting, she’s home, prepping for upcoming jobs using Photoshop, ordering paint cans and mailing out hand-designed T-shirts to her fans — who’ve come to know her as much for her art as for her fierce heart.
Ariana Igneri is a New Jersey native, Boston College alumna and graduate of Columbia Journalism School. She's worked on stories and projects for Bloomberg Businessweek, The Economist and Narratively, among other outlets; and she's obsessed with pizza, puppies and the power of multimedia storytelling.