Acrylic on watercolour paper
5 1/2 x 10 inches
Barbara Muir © 2011
(Spoiler alert. Fight me on this one. I would
be thrilled to be proven wrong over and over
Okay I am a woman. But from my biased
position as a woman I think it's odd that
art clubs are predominantly filled with women,
privately run art shows overflow with women.
Women are making oceans of wonderful
art -- and yet. We are still not featured 50%
of the time in public galleries, or in the leading
private galleries. In some ways the art world
hasn't changed since the days of our beloved
Michelangelo and Botticelli. Where are the
women? The Internet has been a major bonus
to our sex because we get recognition for the
work more readily.
However our art heroes (even among women) are
mostly men. In part I know it's our fault. I know
so many women who won't even put their work
in a show, for fear of rejection, or disrupting
their families, or competition with a mate.
But in part it's the art world for not seeing us,
for dubbing our work as "pretty, facile, trivial."
In other words female values "beauty, detail,
daily life" don't matter. So in this I want to give
a big hand to Irish painter Róisín O'Farrell who
just sold out her London show, with work that
was beautiful, detailed, powerful, strong,
and decidedly female. We need to know
that these tremendous successes are out there.
Both men and women benefit when we women
do well, are creative, get recognized and sell.
I remember a time when all the women in
corporations tried to look and sound like men
-- men's suits, guy talk, "at the end of the day."
"in the final analysis" "ensure and challenge."
They did it because the perception was that the
only "serious" business people were guys. And I
also remember the shift when women started
wearing tastefully feminine clothes to work,
and talking like themselves. In art we need to
make the same shift.
Yay for women!
Have a-supporting-women's-art day
P.S. I am not talking for myself here. As a
portrait artist for the most part, I am
blessed with creating art that has a reliable market,
but I know many women who do not enjoy that reality.