Saturday, May 26, 2007

Guerrilla Girls!

This poster, which hangs above my desk in the gallery, initiates interesting conversations from visitors on a daily basis (at least five today alone, which has led me to this post). The first thing out of most mouths - "so there need to be more naked men in the art museums!?", it has become a banal routine of mine to politely laugh and reply "and more paintings by women artists!". It and other posters, books, buttons and ballyhoo are available thru the Guerrilla Girls website.

Background Info: "In 1985, a group of women artists founded the Guerrilla Girls. They assumed the names of dead women artists and wore gorilla masks in public, concealing their identities and focusing on the issues rather than their personalities. Between 1985 and 2000, close to 100 women, working collectively and anonymously, produced posters, billboards, public actions, books and other projects to make feminism funny and fashionable. "

This poster originated when the Guerrilla Girls were asked to design a billboard for the Public Art Fund in New York. "We welcomed the chance to do something that would appeal to a general audience. One Sunday morning we conducted a "weenie count" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, comparing the number of nude males to nude females in the artworks on display. The results were very "revealing." The PAF said our design wasn't clear enough (????) and rejected it. We then rented advertising space on NYC buses and ran it ourselves, until the bus company canceled our lease, saying that the image, based on Ingres' famous Odalisque, was too suggestive and that the figure appeared to have more than a fan in her hand."

Three Cheers to the Guerrilla Girls for "fighting discrimination with facts, humor and fake fur"!!!