samera flowersIn recent months we’ve seen women go to extreme measures in the name of normalizing menstruation — remember Kiran Gandhi who ran the New York City Marathon without a tampon in August? Well Samera Flowers may have one-upped her with her new controversial artwork. The 21-year-old University of the Arts student has begun painting with period blood in an effort to turn something most would consider trash into a literal work of art.

I love you all so much!!!! Thank you for all the support and flowers.

A photo posted by Samera (@sameraflowers) on

Below are two examples of Flowers’ work which she proudly shares on her Twitter and Instagram pages. As odd and grotesque as some find this practice (check some of the harsh criticisms Flowers has retweeted on her timeline), the Washington, DC native claims humans have been using bodily fluids to create art work for centuries, writing on IG of the piece below: “Menstrual blood piece for my ‘One Week Late’ collection.

Part of my usage of blood is to show an unwanted truth and erase the negative stigmas we have about something as normal as periods. I believe using bodily fluids in artwork began about 35,000 years ago in cave drawings ~ I use what I got and I refuse to limit myself. The beginning stages of this piece was to show relief and anticipation, hence the title of this collection.


In an interview with Cosmo, Flowers explained she actually had the idea to begin painting with blood six years ago, but it wasn’t until she got an overdue period last year that she actually put a brushstroke to her idea.

I was relieved and full of so much emotion. The urge to create something was present and I instantly knew what I had to do. Periods are natural and what better way to normalize them than use it as a medium.”

When Buzzfeed reached out to Flowers to discuss her work, she said this about the negativity she’s received now that her paintings are starting to gain more attention.

I would not try to change people’s opinions,” she told them, adding she “make[s] art that makes people feel something, anything, whether it’s good or bad.”

How do her paintings make you feel?