Opening Reception: Saturday May 23th 6pm – 8pm
Exhibition Dates: May 23th – June 20th
Venue: Fazakas Gallery, 145 West 6th Avenue, Vancouver
Gallery Hours: 11 am – 5 pm Tuesday to Saturday
This is one of my new works appearing in this upcoming group show. The theme of SHE, Fazakas Gallery, is about diversity in feminism. FULL SHOW DETAILS HERE.
In order to remind myself of the WORD, I downloaded a copy of Gloria Steinem’s, Outrageous Acts, and Everyday Rebellions and re-read the Guerrilla Girls’, Beside Companion to the History of Western Art, and ART MUSEUM Activity Book.
Happy 30th Anniversary to the Guerrilla Girls’!
Since 1985, the Guerrilla Girls’, an anonymous collective of female artists and art-world professionals, have used gorilla masks, glue brushes, and acidly satiric posters to prove that humour (and fake fur) can illuminate and educate the art community to the sexism, racism and inequality in the art world. (4) The Guerrilla Girls’ 1986 Report Card tallied the number of women represented by top New York galleries at the time.
Curator Maura Reilly posted an image of gallery gender statistics in February 2015. It was Pussy Galore’s 2015 Report Card by the Feminist Art Collective showing the percentages of women represented by some of the top art galleries in New York City today. The two images are below for comparison. The new tally shows sexism is still alive and well at top NYC galleries.
In planning the painting, Guerrilla Squirrel, my use of the squirrel mask (by Archie McPhee), and its metaphor for secrets was a perfect parallel to the GGs’ gorilla mask of anonymity.
The Guerrilla Girls’ website reads, “We’re feminist masked avengers in the tradition of anonymous do-gooders like Robin Hood, Wonder Woman and Batman. How do we expose sexism, racism and corruption in politics, art, film and pop culture?”
The mention of Wonder Woman made me think of a book I bought years ago at a years sale. Wonder Woman, A Ms. Book Published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston and Warner Books, 1972. I pulled it out to keep the stream of ideas flowing. Low and behold, the book has an introduction by Gloria Steinem / interpretive Essay by Phyllis Chesler, and designed by Bea Feitler. Additionally, each of the four sections of comics: Origins, Sisterhood, Politics, and Romance, have a preface by Gloria Steinem.
Did I mention that I’ve owned and operated a Wonder Woman costume ever since 1977?
Next up was asking permission from the Guerrilla Girls’ and Pussy Galore (both located in NYC) to use the Report Cards in a painting. I first emailed the Guerrilla Girls’, and asked if they would grant me permission to use their 1986 Report Card. I received an email back the next day from Kathe Kollwitz (a pseudonym).
On Mar 6, 2015, at 4:50 AM, Guerrilla Girls wrote:
Sure. Could you send an image of the painting when you finish it?
Best, Kathe Kollwitz for the Guerrilla Girls
Next, I emailed Pussy Galore. Initially, I heard back from Maura Reilly letting me know I needed to ask the collective itself. Within hours, I had received permission from the Feminist Art Collective to use the 2015 Pussy Galore report card.
We’d be delighted! Just be sure to credit us somewhere. And please send us a pic of the painting when you finish it–for our files.
thanks for thinking of us.
I was very thrilled at this point. And grateful! Thank you to both the GGs’ and the PG’s.
My final concept blended the two report cards (Guerrilla Girls’ 1986 and Pussy Galore 2015), Gloria Steinem dressed as WW with gold bracelets flexing her gun muscles, the primary colours of the Wonder Woman Ms. Book (which I likened to the bold colours of the Guerrilla Girls’ posters), and the squirrel mask (by Archie McPhee) for anonymity. Even my favourite Star Global Advanced IT Corp. Ltd. and Carollyne Yardley Omnimedia logo = the five-pointed star was integrated, although it IS a Wonder Woman thing.
Guerrilla Girls In the News:
Guerilla Girls Birthday Party 30 Years and Still Counting
The Guerilla Girls Are Still Relevant After All There Years
Pussy Galore in the News:
Art Collective Pussy Galore Shows NYCS Galleries Still Pretty Sexist
Pussy Galore’s 2015 Gallery Report Card is Out
Squirrel Mask by: Archie McPhee