Gender discrimination in the art world

Apparently it’s rife, people just aren’t valuing female artistic output in the same manner they do male.

Terrible, eh?

Valeria Napoleone, an art patron who has spent her professional life collecting work by female artists, argued it is high time for women to take their place in an art establishment still dominated largely by powerful men.

“Women artists, like in many other fields and life in general, suffer discrimination and underrepresentation,” she told the Telegraph.
“It’s changing a little bit but it’s not there yet, obviously.
“There has been a wave of exhibitions dedicated to women artists with everybody ticking the box to say they are politically correct and have done their jobs.
“It has become fashionable, and that’s great. But this is really just the beginning.”

Bint who owns lots of art made by birds thinks that art made by birds should be worth more.

Pick the incentives out of that, eh?

27 thoughts on “Gender discrimination in the art world”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    “Women artists, like in many other fields and life in general, suffer discrimination and underrepresentation,” she told the Telegraph.

    Male peacocks find that brightly coloured tails help them to get laid. So to speak. Female peacocks not so much. Yet somehow I don’t think this is a result of discrimination.

    If we took this evolution lark seriously, we would expect that men are interested in doing the sorts of things that get them laid more often. Like making a lot of money. Kicking a ball further and more accurately than anyone else. Daubing bits of paint on a bit of paper. That sort of thing. Anything that might get them noticed and a bit of fame. Some money would be nice too.

    Whereas females would be interested in looking young and fertile. That is, being pretty.

    If a woman was not interested in being pretty and instead was interested in daubing paint on bits of paper, one might suspect her intent was not reproductive success but therapy. Which is never pretty to look at.

    But it is well known evolution does not apply to human beings at all. Certainly not where sex is concerned.

  2. Wouldn’t go that far, but from my , admittedly anecdotal, experience women tend to simply have interest in different expressions of artistry and creativity than applying pigments on a surface.

    It seems to me that quite a lot of them seem to gravitate towards ceramics ( and are bloody good at it as well..) , etching/engraving, and finesmithing (either in base or precious metals).
    All stuff that can be both practical *and* decorative.

    They tend to leave the graffity up to the boys..

  3. Women buy the lion’s share of contemporary ‘literature’: and women who write so-called chick lit and misery lit do very well. I suspect, however, that in the main, art is purchased by men: and men don’t buy paintings of flowers and cute kitties.

  4. *points at the slew of flower fields and assorted bits of greenery slapped on canvas that fetch quite impressive prices.*

    field of sunflowers anyone?

  5. Steve: The art sample–

    A strange scrawny-looking woman sitting in front of a huge blown-up picture of a somewhat better-looking nude woman fingering herself if not masturbating sedately. A picture which, had it appeared on Page 3 , would have femmi-freaks howling loud enough to be heard on Mars.

    Why didn’t DaVinci think of that?

  6. SMFS

    Women who are interested only in being pretty are usually self-absorbed, neurotic, airheads. They can be fun to shag; but you wouldn’t want to raise a family with them. My mother was a very beautiful woman and obsessed with her looks: when her looks faded, she drank herself to death.

  7. Expenive art is purchased by rich blokes, I imagine. So producing art rich blokes like would be the way to go here, surely? Rather than producing stuff they don’t like and then blaming them for their patriarchal preferences.

  8. Looking at the photo Steve has found for us a thought strikes me; the discrimination against male life models prepares to strike erotic poses.and kn favour of female life models is just outrageous. Mrs Napoleon might want to do something about that; thank God she won’t get very far.

  9. Mr Ecks – Yar. It looks like the sort of thing you’d find inside one of the mucky top shelf mags at a seedy truck stop just off the M6.

    No doubt the painter sprinkled around enough high-falutin’ PoMo verbiage to transform it from golf mag centrefold to empowering, challenging, sex-positive examination of womens’ thrupenny bits, or something.

    Ironman – I was just thinking Mrs Napoleon looks exactly like one of the customers from Harry Enfield’s “I Saw You Coming” shop.

  10. Could someone get or crunch some numbers comparing the “gender pay gap” in different industries – leftie luvvie artsy vs banking, for example? Suspect the luvvies wouldn’t look so feminist then.

  11. Steve

    I particularly liked Mr I-saw-you-coming approving of a girl who looks like Mrs Napoleon telling him she is bringing her friend along: “Yeah, so then I can bid you up against each other”.

  12. Y’know, I’ve sometimes wondered why representations of vaginas created by women aren’t more highly valued in the “art establishment”.

    But then I recall Georgia O’Keefe and I think, “Never mind”.

  13. I think she may have a point. Looking at the past century of fine art, most of it has been utterly worthless dross by people absent of any talent- think Rothko, Mondrian or Pollock- so it can’t be an issue of talent, even if one argued that women are not as capable on average as men.

    Maybe there are fewer women with the brass balls to claim that a few splodges of paint on a canvas are art, or maybe (just to get some racism in) the Jewish domination of fine art really is patriarchally biased.

    This woman can paint, for instance-

    http://adriennestein.com/

  14. If the art world is so rife with sexism can we have a moratorium on artists telling everybody else what to do until they get their house in order? Would be nice…

  15. @ IanB

    I’m afraid I have to point out that Piet Mondria*a*n, could actually handle a brush very well, and produce near-fotorealistic results *if he chose to* as his early work shows before impressionism (sells very well), and later kubism ( the stuff everyone knows of him because early Ikea, originals go for the annual budget of your ministry of choice, if at all. ) got its hold on him.

    That is a completely different league than getting away with a blank canvas with one dot on it, “calling it “Art”, and snubbing everyone who “doesn’t get it”.

  16. hmm ministry is something different in english. meant : whatever subdivision of chairwarming the local politicians deem necessary to operate a country.

  17. So Much For Subtlety

    NielsR – “If the art world is so rife with sexism can we have a moratorium on artists telling everybody else what to do until they get their house in order? Would be nice…”

    It is not as if this has not been obvious for a long time. After all, the last time a major country was run by an artist, well, let’s just say things didn’t work out so well for Germany.

    Nor Poland either.

  18. So Much For Subtlety

    Roue le Jour – “Expenive art is purchased by rich blokes, I imagine. So producing art rich blokes like would be the way to go here, surely? Rather than producing stuff they don’t like and then blaming them for their patriarchal preferences.”

    You would think. But rich men don’t buy much art compared to the government. So people are aiming to produce art that the Arts Council or some other Qango likes. That means you have to get the approval of people like Nicholas Serota. You can see the problem. What does get their attention and their approval is ranting about the patriarchy. After all, it is not their money is it?

    Ian B – “Maybe there are fewer women with the brass balls to claim that a few splodges of paint on a canvas are art, or maybe (just to get some racism in) the Jewish domination of fine art really is patriarchally biased.”

    You have two pieces of art in front of you. The first is designed to say “I am a sexy beast who is mad, bad and dangerous to know”. The second is intended to say “Daddy!! Why won’t you pay attention to me!!”.

    Which would you rather buy? Even from a completely 100% heterosexual viewpoint.

  19. It’s irrelevant because as Ian B says, none of this art matters. Painted art on walls is a pre-war art form. The post-war stuff is obscurist crap produced by 2nd rate artists, criticised by wankers and bought by people who just want to show off how fucking rich they are.

    The only art that matters is in post-war era is in cinema and advertising.

  20. So Much For Subtlety

    Tim Almond – “The only art that matters is in post-war era is in cinema and advertising.”

    Computer game graphics too.

  21. ‘Expensive art is purchased by rich blokes…wankers and show-offs’

    I remain a peasant at heart and what I know about art you could write on the head of a pin. That said, when we purchased our Wimpey starter home in the 70’s and money was in short supply, I was reluctant to sit in a room without something inspirational – that make you think, nailed to the wall. Thankfully our local public library rented framed reproductions that you checked out with the month’s reading material. Whilst Bernie never became rich, I can usually find a couple of grand if something worthwhile appeals – in the same way I choose to spend £50 of my monthly pocket money on flowers for the Boss in preference to a Sky subscription. At least half of the art I have acquired over the years – not only ceramics, is by women artists, and not just because it is good, albeit derivative, but because it’s affordable.

  22. Bernie G,

    I’m not referring to $5K art. What I mean is that no-one is paying $20m for a painting because they like how the painting looks, especially as they often just put it on loan to a museum. It’s showing off that you’ve got $20m spare lying around.

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