Saturday, October 31, 2015

This is an Art Rant (Beware)

I just learned something that really shocked me, though it should not have now that I really think about it.
I thought it would be fun to look up the ten best female artists alive now, there was no list, but there were a bunch of lists about the best artists. I looked at one and what I found was indeed shocking.
Out of 100 men there were only two women, both dead, Frida Kahlo was #49 (49!!!!) and Georgia O'keeffe was #94 (94!!!!).
This is so amazing because I can think of many women who should be on this list that never even made it, where is Louise Nevelson and Louise Bourgeois?! Just to name two, I could fill this page up with names.
And what of the women alive today who are making great art?
I really never paid attention to this before, to me good art is made by both sexes, but I heard a female artist say they changed their name to be more male sounding because men got better prices for their work. This made me sit up and notice what was going on.
As a female artist this is so disappointing.
I don't make art for the money, if I did I would have stopped many years ago, but I do want the same pay and rewards that a man would get.
Do any of you find this shocking? Or have I had my head in the sand for too Long?
Please share. xoxo


kj said...

Totally appallingly shocking!

Annie said...

Kj, Yes, I think it is beyond appalling. xoxo

lynne h said...

heya annie,

yeah, it is appalling... i think it's easy to lull ourselves into thinking that things are 'equal' and balanced, but that's not the reality when you get right down to it. i guess it's gonna take a long time before the pendulum swings back center - because it's sure not happening quickly.

anyway! i have my own list of awesome female artists, and besides, i never think in terms of male and female, just what i love... but it would be nice to see women get the recognition they deserve.


Annie said...


I agree! My two favorite artists right now are Leonardo Drew and Mark Bradford, but I also love tons of women artists like Kiki Smith and many others. There are so many wonderful artists out there and most of them unknown like you and me :-). I do not see art in gender terms or for that matter in color terms. Good is good. xoxo

Sharmon Davidson said...

Unfortunately, I don't find this hard to believe at all. When I was in college, eons ago, there was a lot of talk about a book called "Art and Sexual Politics: Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists" by Thomas B. Hess and Elizabeth C. Baker. Back in the 70's, women were completely appalled, but I think over time we have just silently accepted it.Women were not considered great because they were women. This book is out of print, but you can order used copies from Amazon if you're interested. I don't know how we can get women artists the recognition they deserve, except to keep making the best art we can.

Annie said...

Sharmon, I fear you are right and I also fear no matter how a great a woman becomes she will always be considered less than a man. I won't let that depressing thought stop me from knowing my own greatness though. xoxo