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Guerrilla Girls is an anonymous group of feminist , female artists devoted to fighting sexism and racism within the art world. To remain anonymous, members don gorilla masks and use pseudonyms that refer to deceased female artists. According to GG1, identities are concealed because issues matter more than individual identities, "[M]ainly, we wanted the focus to be on the issues, not on our personalities or our own work. During the height of the contemporary art movement in the 20th century, many distinguished galleries lacked appropriate representation of female artists and curators.
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Guerrilla Girls | Whitney Museum of American Art
At the time the Black Lives Matter campaign in the UK was drawing the national spotlight to the statues of slave traders , another activist was highlighting the way women are represented in civic statuary. It shows a seated man bathing his feet surrounded by a clutch of fawning semi-naked women. The placard bearer is ArtActivistBarbie, a Barbie doll posed in front of artworks and monuments, and the playful alter ego of Sarah Williamson, a senior lecturer at the University of Huddersfield. Williamson began the project as way to engage students with feminist ideas, and in particular the way women are portrayed in art. In a Twitter post , ArtActivistBarbie imagines the commissioning of the painting Circe by Wright Barker, which shows a topless woman surrounded by lions.
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License this image. This is one of thirty posters published in a portfolio entitled Guerrilla Girls Talk Back by the group of anonymous American female artists who call themselves the Guerrilla Girls. Since their inception in the Guerrilla Girls have been working to expose sexual and racial discrimination in the art world, particularly in New York, and in the wider cultural arena. Although female artists had played a central role in experimental American art of the s, with the economic boom of the early s in which artwork prices rose steeply, their presence in museum and gallery exhibitions diminished dramatically. Like American artists Barbara Kruger born and Jenny Holzer born , the Guerrilla Girls appropriated the visual language of advertising, specifically fly-posting, to convey their messages in a quick and accessible manner.
All members of that New York-based activist group wear gorilla masks and use the names of famous female artists for public appearances. More: Your guide to art festivals in The Rauschenberg Gallery exhibit features all those posters and more — many of them blown up much bigger than the originals. And the Guerrilla Girls were on their way to notoriety.