The Guerrilla Girls are a collective that’s been going strong since 1985, dedicated to using art to expose prevailing sexist and racial discrimination in the artworld. Among their many approaches to “reinventing the ‘f’ word” (not necessarily the f-word you’re thinking of!) has been to don their gorilla masks (to keep the media focused on their message, not their looks) and give themselves the names of famous dead female artist identities (to keep their memories alive–and protect themselves from any negative backlash from artworld bigwigs). Now, thirty years later, their passion remains on fire; despite acknowledged progress, they still burn for greater equity. If their work sparks your inner art-ivist, click for your own free Guerrilla Girls starter kit found here—and you can visit their artwork and books at their table in the New York Art Book Fair.
~Victoria C. Rowan, Ideasmyth Creatrix-in-Chief
“Do Women STILL Have to be Naked to Get Into the Met. Museum?
Every so often, we count the number of women artists vs. the number of female nudes on exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum in NY. Below are our posters from 1989, 2005 and 2012.
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’–as much so today when we did our first count.”
–from the Guerrilla Girls website
See more of The Guerrilla Girls’ Featured Creative posts on our Ideablog
~~~The Guerrilla Girls are feminist masked avengers in the tradition of anonymous do-gooders like Robin Hood, Wonder Woman and Batman. Over 50 women have been members over the years, some for weeks, some for decades. They use facts, humor and outrageous visuals to expose discrimination and corruption in politics, art, film, and pop culture. They undermine the idea of a mainstream narrative by revealing the understory, the subtext, the overlooked, and the downright unfair. Over the past 30 years they have reinvented the f-word ‘feminism’ in more than a hundred posters, street projects, actions, books, and billboards. They’ve unveiled anti-film industry billboards in Hollywood just in time for the Oscars, dissed the Museum of Modern Art in New York at its own Feminist Futures Symposium, and created large scale projects …They are authors of street projects, stickers, billboards, posters, and several books including The Guerrilla Girls’ Bedside Companion to the History of Western Art; Bitches, Bimbos and Ballbreakers: The Guerrilla Girls’ Guide to Female Stereotypes; The Guerrilla Girls’ Art Museum Activity Book; and The Guerrilla Girls’ Hysterical Herstory of Hysteria and How it Was Cured, from Ancient times Until Now…