Extra credit Guerrilla Girls

Read this interview with the Guerrilla girls, explore the site and write a 200 word response:




OR, read this one on discrimination of women artists




4 thoughts on “Extra credit Guerrilla Girls

  1. Alright so I read both the article and the interview and they were both very interesting. I read the interview first and was literally laughing out loud at some of the responses. I wish they had a video for it, because with some of the responses I was truly imagining the words coming out of O’Keefe’s and Kahlo’s mouths. The whole interview is extremely satirical, and it even says in the article that using humor is one of the ways that they are raising awareness about the underrepresentation of women. They say that the art world is so ludicrous that this is the perfect way to show just how ridiculous it is. They explain their ironic get-up of the gorilla mask with a short skirt and fishnet stockings, to truly poke fun at the idealized notion of a woman. They do make some interesting arguments about how to make it in the art world and what is considered quality. I love how Alma Thomas says “Quality” has always been used to keep women and artists of color out. However, at the end they do conclude that they have made change. And even if this change has come in the shape of raising awareness then that’s fine. One of them even says that the museum curators at least acknowledge them now, they used to just ignore them and hope they would go away. In this sense, any publicity is good publicity.

    Then, on the topic of the article, I found this to be extremely interesting. I remember saying something earlier in the semester that history is written by those in power. And those in power have usually been rich, white, heterosexual males. So when you have a story being told from strictly one side, and a very narrow perspective at that, then things can get a little skewed. In this article, Kahlo talks a lot about the capitalization of art and how that has effected it. This is an interesting concept, and one that I have not even fathomed before myself. Of course, we are all socialized to like the things we like. It’s just a face that how boys like dirtbikes and girls like ponies, right? WRONG. This is all a social construction. And in this sense, the analyzation and provenance of art is also socialized. Personally, I don’t find anything all that spectacular about the Mona Lisa, but it is considered the best painting ever painted. Why? Beats me, but an educated guess could say that a few people who were considered experts in art defined Da Vinci’s work as technical excellency and the most aesthetic thing to ever be produced. But what does this art do? Does it elicit some sort of emotion? Does Mona Lisa’s smile make you wonder what it is exactly she is so slyly smirking at? Or is it just the technical excellency to Da Vinci utilized to produce the smokin’ hot babe that Mona Lisa is for the 1500’s. Personally, a stick figure drawing title “World’s Best Uncle” drawn by my niece elicits a hell of a lot more emotion in me than seeing the Mona Lisa does. Anyways, all rants aside, Kahlo says that the capitalization of the art world has had a strong influence on the art that is not only displayed in museum’s but that is produced also. If an artist needs to make a living, then perhaps they will change their art style towards what is ‘desired’ by the art world or an art gallery. But is that truly their art? Kahlo says that art collectors used to be philanthropists, now art collectors are moguls who expect their ‘investment’ to appreciate in value. It is truly astounding how far reaching the ever-extending arms of capitalism influence the society we live in.

  2. It may seem ridiculous that a gender equality movement which began in the mid-eighties needs to carry on its mission in 2014. Ever since the Guerrilla Girls began making art to highlight the issues existing between the art world and women in 1985, circumstances have barely improved. It has been almost thirty years, and as Eleanor Bader’s “Women Artists Still Face Discrimination” shows, women are still finding it difficult to be accepted into the art world. What truly caught my attention in Bader’s article was Amanda Adam-Louis’ quote stating that “women have to be twice as good as men to get shows.” I feel as though, judging by the readings done involving feminist art, women have to be more than twice as good as men–maybe three or four or five times. And as much effort a woman must put into their work to be noticed, it becomes even more difficult if the women happens to be a person of color. Naturally, this is true for almost every industry, but the facts concerning women in galleries is disheartening, and almost painful. The largest gallery in the world, Gagosian Gallery, doesn’t include women in their shows in 11 out of their 12 galleries. When Linda Stein discussed juries selecting artwork in a blind process, all I could remember was Maya Lin’s selection for the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial and how Lin truly believed she wouldn’t have been picked had it not been a blind trial selection.


  3. The Guerrilla Girls
    Their use of dead female artists as code names embodies the lack of need for individuality when presenting an issue as well as instilled negative social connotation of women who declare and identify themselves as feminine. Without a face to associate with the issue, an opponent cannot attack the face but must deal with the implications of the issue. When reading how the organization came about and what their first steps were, it was evident that eras that we associate with specific movements were not recognized till after. This lag in the time of events and when they were recognized is often overlooked in studies. The organization also addressed the issues of the museum and institutions of artistic representation raises, where subjectivity becomes a blame game amongst the artists, the critics, the curators;etc. Once again we are presented by an art form that stems from the appeal of graffiti and street art, by stepping outside of norm and museum accepted art and is a form of rebellion; all part of its charm. The reclaiming of once stigmatized and negatively associated words and symbols is utilized even in their title with the use of the word “girl”, a tactic they give credit to the Gay Rights Movement in their effort to reclaim the word “queer” and the inverted triangle that dates back to the Holocaust. The most admirable part of this group is their owning of their “boldness” as part of their mission and statement.

    -Nicolette Trevenen

  4. I like the guerrilla art and the guerrilla approach. The comedic effect is extremely effective and the art they produce is aesthetically pleasing and original. So not only are they gaining themselves credibility by their political statements , but they are backing up what they are saying by showing that women artists really are talented. I have never really seen female art as less than male art lots of the time I cannot tell the difference in gender of the artists with foreign names. To be honest I though Jean Michel Basquiat was a female before we watched the video. I am not bringing this up to toot my own horn and say that I am above sexism or stereotypes I just think it shows that outside the art world people don’t really understand that women are being misrepresented so it is a good thing that the Guerrilla girls bring it to people’s attention. In response to the quote about the uneven amount of female nudes to male nudes in museums, it is also pretty apparent that this is the case in most media. It is much more common to see female’s in the nude in magazines or on film than it is to see nude males. In one of my other classes someone said that this was partly because that the female reproductive organs are internal where as male reproductive organs are external. If a female is shown nude technically you can’t see anything naughty. I don’t know if I agree with this logic and I am also pretty sure this is more of an excuse than a reason for the uneven nude representation between sexes in our art and media.

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