Gender and Artistic Development: An Interview with Alina Gross

By Blue

Alina Gross (she/her) is a German Photographer whose main inspiration is the female body. She kindly accepted to answer my questions about the relationship between being a woman, her art and development as an artist. 

Can you first tell us something about yourself personally, your career and your work?

I started taking photos when I was 18, first in front of the camera, then behind it.

How was your relationship with femininity growing up?

I grew up very sheltered and with a lot of love, so I developed a very good feeling about my body. I did a lot intuitively, without thinking about what “femininity” actually means to me.

Would you say that being a woman has influenced your art? How?

As a woman you are of course interested in female topics such as childbirth, female forms, beauty, fashion etc. The female body is the main inspiration in my work, so being a woman has influenced me a lot.

Would you say that as a woman you  see things differently?

Perceiving the world is an individual process and I think every person has their own perception of the world.

Do you think it is noticeable in your work?

Of course, my perception is reflected in my work. I keep asking myself what I wish for, what others see and feel in my work.

During your career, have you ever been denied opportunities or discriminated against because of your gender?

I had to give up my job when I gave birth to my first child. The agency owners, for whom I worked as a permanent photographer at the time, no longer found me willing to work for them with a child. Then we had to separate. But I have never regretted this decision.

Our society often tries to silence women. Do you think your art gives you a certain voice? If so, are you thinking it is louder than just your words?

I think it’s not about being loud, it’s about having a voice that has something to say. Photography should also be about getting an echo in society.

There are many concepts associated with femininity such as femininity, gentleness or elegance. Do you think it influenced your art, or on the contrary do you think it took you further away from it?

I believe that femininity as a topic is very complex and individual. My view of it is shaped by my background and experiences. I love fashion and look  in many things. For me, art can just be beautiful, that’s not a crime.

What advice would you give your younger self?

This is difficult. Everyone has to make their own experiences. It’s just important to learn from it.

What advice would you give young female artists?

I would say believe in yourself, you can do anything. If you want commercial success, photography may not necessarily be the quickest way to make money. You’re probably better off with a marketing degree.

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