Guerilla Girl, Vitreous Painting on glass, 8 x 10”
This past semester I just came to know the Guerilla Girls, a feminist artist group, and their activism for the rights and promotion of women artists.
I have been reading their colloquial text, The Guerrilla Girls Bedside Companion to the History of Western Art (Penguin, 1998), and have learned about numerous women artists to include in the archive I am forming to re-inform the art canon.
I really enjoyed painting a Guerilla Girl for the archive, and plan to include at least one more. It was fun to kind of loosen up with this painting, the imagery allowed me more freedom to just be expressive, than worrying over the resemblance required in the other portraits.
One of my students told me that it was scary to look at. I think that in the end this will add meaning to the archive wall, embedding the question and intent of the collective images.
About the Guerilla Girls:
Guerrilla Girls is an anonymous group of radical feminist artists established in New York City in 1985. Known for their posters, books, billboards, appearances and other creative forms of culture jamming, the group aims to expose discrimination and corruption.
Guerrilla Girls invented a unique combination of content, text and snappy graphics that present feminist viewpoints in a humorous manner. They try to draw in viewers with their comic hook, help them to think about the issues, and encourage them to change their minds.
Guerrilla Girls wanted to reclaim the “F word" (feminism). They want people to embrace the tenets of feminism, which include equal opportunity, the end of gender-based discrimination, equal access to education, freedom from sexual exploitation and abuse, reproductive rights education, and human rights for women everywhere.
They are famous for wearing gorilla masks in public and taking the names of deceased female artists as pseudonyms.
Critics say that while the Guerilla Girls claim to work on behalf of marginalized female artists and artists of color within the art world, they actually serve the needs of only a handful of privileged artists. The Guerilla Girls have responded by pointing to women’s groups throughout the world who have supported their work, including women in Brazil, India, Mexico, Europe, Cyprus, Bosnia, and Serbia.
Other critics assert that their activities ignore the larger trend of misogyny and patriarchy in society, focusing too narrowly on the self-interested pursuit of greater marketability and recognition of female artists. In response, the Guerrilla Girls report that a third of their posters and campaigns have addressed larger societal issues including violence against women, racial inequality, war, reproductive choice, and misguided political policies.
For more information on Guerilla Girls visit: http://www.guerillagirls.com/
You can view my forming archive on my Uomini Famosi: Vitreous paintings on glass at: