Sunday, November 6, 2011

Observations on Art 11.6

I was reading an article on ArtInfo about Occupy Museums and a thought came to mind. Maybe they do have a point, maybe there is a major problem in the art world, but I'm not sure they themselves realize what the problem is.

No matter how you figure it, only about 10 percent of the works major museums show in New York were created by women. Gallery shows are much better but still only about a quarter of all solo shows are by female artists. Every year the major art blogs put out their "power lists" and every year few of the names are women's.

Why is their such inequality in the art world?

To have ones work shown in a major market one has to get the interest of a small group of curators, collectors, and critics. A group that for the most part is male. It isn't any big secret that the social make up of the art world is cliquish and elitist. For any artist, but particularly for a women aartist, to get anywhere you must go to the right schools, meet the right people, be willing to push your work, and be extremely lucky. Even with todays explosion of social networking to get invited to the parties where these power-brokers schmooze over drinks is next to impossible. Over the years some women's groups have tried to duplicate this male dominated world but to what end? To create a permanent sanctioned second class in an otherwise unchanged art world?

I think the time for anything of that sort has long passed. But for now female artists lack the resources needed to counter hundreds of years of informal discrimination against them. They lack the money, influence, and quite literally the space necessary to have any kind of major impact. For now most of the art works you see will still be created by only the male half of the artist population.

One way or another things need to and will change, the only question remaining is how it will be accomplished.

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