Where The Girls Aren’t by Jerry Saltz:
The programmatic exclusion of women is partly attributable to the art world’s being a self-replicating organism: It sees that the art that is shown and sold is made mainly by men, and therefore more art made by men is shown and sold. This is how the misidentification, what Adorno called a “negative system,” is perpetuated.
I have been watching the trends on this with alarm, it is a true fact that women are under-represented in the art industry. The reasoning seems to be automatic response as mentioned in this article, but I wonder if there might be something else involved. Something at the core of womanhood.
Art is incredibly personal. women, generally being more in touch with our feelings, tend to create more personal art with less detachment than a male artist. That means that there is more invested emotionally, making it hard to then put a piece up for others to see, it is like being naked in a way, it’s very exposing.
Some of you have heard me refer to my paintings as babies. This is not an uncommon sentiment. the creation process is borne from deep within and lovingly created over time. It makes us laugh and cry and grow very attached. I do this that there is a reluctance sometimes among women artists (myself included) to sell their babies.. I mean pieces – will it go to a good home? will it be treated well and loved? and what is that curator doing with my baby?
Women are by nature just as competitive as men (and I will challenge anyone who says otherwise!) but I wonder if our personal attachment to our paintings may be creating some of the issues. I don’t think this is a bad thing, it creates a both and an empathy to the works that really comes across to the viewers. maybe we need to set aside our fears and worries about our babies and send them off to the galleries with a packed lunch, cry and then be proud that something we gave birth to is doing so well.
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