Guerrilla Girls and Feminism in Contemporary Art

The Guerrilla Girls

A collection of anonymous feminists who battled for women and non-white people to be included in the art world. They produce posters and books, along with physical art projects, to reveal sexism and racism throughout the art, political and cultural worlds.

Guerrilla Girls, 'Do Women Have To Be Naked To Get Into the Met. Museum?' 1989

Within the work, the artists wear gorilla masks to protect their identity as it is thought to distract from the purpose of the works.

“Mainly we wanted the focus to be on the issues, not on our personalities or our own work.”

They use billboards etc to draw attention to discrimination or corruption that may exist within society. Originally, only seven women started the group as a response to the exhibition “An International Survey of Recent Painting and Sculpture”(1984), where only 13/165 artists were female. The amount of non-white artists within this collective was even smaller than this proportion, none of these few having been women either. The outrage for this obvious discrimination has fuelled a large artistic group, still spreading awareness today.

The Guerrilla Girls collected data on the ratio of men to women within Museums and found less than 5% were women. Interestingly, within the work 85% of the nudes shown were female.

It is evident that there has been a change over the years on the awareness, indicated by the first all-female Saatchi Gallery exhibition and the Tate modern’s attempt to  adapt that ratio.

 

“Anonymous free speech is protected by the constitution. You’d be surprised what comes out of your mouth when you wear a mask.”

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