10 Things You Didn’t Know About Petra Collins

Petra Collins is a distinct name in the artistic world, renowned for her dreamy, feministic aesthetics. Her work highlights the raw, unseen beauty, and blends classic with modern. Collins is an influential artist, photographer, and director touching upon crucial subjects like mental health, body positivity, and the female experience. But there’s more hidden behind the frames of this robust artist. Here we reveal 10 facts you likely didn’t know about Petra Collins.

1. Started her career at a young age

Petra Collins might be known as a powerhouse today, but her journey started in her early teens. Collins, who hails from Toronto, Canada, caught the photography bug at just 15 years old. She began shooting her friends as they went about their teenage lives, capturing their experiences and emotions like an invisible observer.

Her early works strongly represented a sense of natural beauty, which remains a prominent feature in her later pieces. This youthful start indicates how her unique style and perspective have evolved over the years, challenging and reshaping societal norms on femininity and mental health.

2. She is the founder of “The Ardorous”

Despite her young age, Collins established an all-female collective known as “The Ardorous”. This platform supports and promotes the work of young women artists struggling to find recognition in the industry. Driven by her feminist beliefs, Petra offers unseen talent a chance to sell prints, collaborate with like-minded artists, and participate in interactive events.

The Ardorous has become a recognized platform that offers an alternative perspective to traditional art spaces, augmenting female voices in the art world, greatly thanks to Collins’ dedication and vision.

3. Controversy surrounds her work

Uncommon for artists to shy from controversy, Petra Collins is no exception. Her 2013 t-shirt design for American Apparel featured a menstruating vagina, sparking intense discussion among media and public regarding obscenity versus freedom of expression. Collins stated it was meant to challenge societal taboos about women’s natural bodily functions.

Her work also explores topics such as sex, mental health, and body image, often resulting in heated and divided reactions. Nonetheless, Petra remains unapologetic about her artwork, standing firm on her view to normalize these themes.

4. Collins is also a film director

Besides being a talented photographer, Petra Collins is less known for her work as a film director. She has directed several music videos featuring artists like Carly Rae Jepsen, Selena Gomez, and Cardi B. Her music videos have garnered millions of views on YouTube, highlighting Petra’s multi-faceted talent.

Her directorial style reflects her photography aesthetic, imbued with dreamy, surreal elements that strongly resonate with her audience. Collins’ expansion into directing music videos certainly adds another layer to her artistry.

5. Published Author

In addition to photography and film directing, Petra is also a published author. Her visually stunning book ‘Babe’ features work by female artists across various mediums. The book showcases their unique perspectives, further extending Petra’s vision to amplify female voices.

‘Babe’ demonstrates Petra’s commitment to female empowerment. Not only is she a photographer and director, but an author using literary medium to emphasize her artistic philosophy, and continues to shatter stereotypical notions about women.

6. Collaborations with famous brands

Petra has collaborated with high-profile brands including Gucci and Adidas. Her forte – story-telling via evocative and ethereal pictures – aligns well with advertising these labels. Collins’ unique style provides an alternative lens via which such brands can be seen, enhancing their marketing campaigns.

Her notable collaborations not only serve as a testament to her skill and adaptability as an artist, but also to her growing influence in the fashion and advertising industry.

7. Her Relationship with Selena Gomez

Celebrated pop star Selena Gomez and Petra Collins share a creative collaboration and admirably close friendship. Petra directed Gomez’s music video “Fetish” and their artistic chemistry resulted in one of the most popular videos of the singer’s career.

New to the public, their off-camera relationship has developed to be more intimate than just professional, confirming how art can foster genuine connections among diverse individuals.

8. An Advocate for Mental Health

Petra Collins is not shy about discussing her struggles with mental health. She suffered from depression in her teens, an experience that directly influences her art. Her pieces often incorporate elements of mental illness, such as self-harm and eating disorders, stirring up crucial conversations on mental health.

By using her platform as an artist to raise awareness, Petra aims to break stigmas and encourage a broader understanding of mental health issues.

9. Strong Supporter of Body Positivity

Body positivity is a theme that Petra Collins frequently explores. Whether it’s depicting plus-sized models or celebrating body hair, her work continually challenges societal beauty standards. Collins believes in representing honest, real bodies, contrasting with the airbrushed, flawless images often seen in media.

By presenting images that deviate from the ‘norm’, Petra hopes to undermine damaging beauty standards and affirm the inherent beauty in all body types.

10. Fashion Model

Behind her camera lens, Petra has quite the experience in front of it too. She’s graced the runway for renown designers, exhibiting her versatility in the creative industry. Collins’ experience as a model likely informs her perspective as a photographer, understanding how it feels to be the subject of a lens.

These ventures have proven that whether it’s behind or in front of the camera, Petra Collins is a force to be reckoned with.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z75D8Uz4yds (Fetish, directed by Petra Collins)