RA Rosen

Rebecca Ann Rosen

Comic book author, illustrator, graphic designer and screen printer Rebecca Ann Rosen (R.A Rosen) was born in Montreal but today lives in Brussels. She draws and publishes at L'Appât, the screen printing and micropublishing workshop that she co-directs alongside Quentin Pilot. Her first comic book, first published in English with the title FLEM (Conundrum Press, 2018) is today available in French with the title Morveuse (L'employé du moi, 2019). It follows the tormented journey of a young woman who tries to join a group of radical feminists.

Rebecca Ann Rosen first expressed her feminist commitment through the creation of militant posters, before tackling narrative formats through fanzines and comic books. The result is a re-reading of art history through projects such as Le pouvoir des femmes (2018), in which she hijacks the series of engravings of the same name created in the 16th century by Lucas Van Leyden.

Today, these themes are expressed in her new comic book project, Mayken. This work of fiction is based on the life of Mayken Verhulst (1518-1599), a 16th-century painter and printmaker: while she enjoyed a solid reputation at the time, no work that can be attributed to her with certainty has survived, and today she is known as the spouse of the artist Pieter Coecke van Aelst, the stepmother of Pieter Bruegel senior and the grandmother (and teacher) of Pieter Brueghel junior and Jan Brueghel senior. Although Mayken's story is set in the distant past, her situation continues to resonate with that of many women artists, even in our time. Behind the myth of the solitary-artist-genius-man, of which Bruegel is an example, it is not uncommon to discover the story of the artist-spouse-mother-woman: all the Maykens are known too little, if at all. The historical figure allows us to question the status of those who occupy - sometimes at the cost of a serious obstacles - the various fields of art today, and especially that of comic books.

As an extension of this reflection, Rebecca founded the Guilde Griet in 2020: a network for the exchange of practices and experiences between peers that brings together every month (when the health context allows it) illustrators and comic book artists active in Belgium.