I’m a Guerrilla Girl! or How I Fell in Love with Art
I know when I fell in love with art. It was in the early 1990’s in an art history class when my professor flashed the first slide on the Guerrilla Girls. Oh my!
Before that moment art was something fun I did; art was the painting and sculptures I looked at in the museum and the plays I went to. I liked art, I made time for art but I wasn’t in love with art.
The Guerrilla Girls Changed All That
The Guerrilla Girls helped me to understand art as a tool of activism. Until that point I had not recognized that art could be used to educate, inform and raise awareness nor had I truly realized what a powerful impact art could have. This understanding helped me to appreciate art and artists in a much deeper way.
Bells and whistles
Once introduced to the Guerrilla Girls I started to see art in a new way. Suddenly I understood that art was both very personal and also connected to the larger social structure. Art was personal expression – & – Art was social action -&- Art was a movement. Bells and whistles went off for me!
What was and is still especially important to me about the Guerrilla Girls is the stance they take for women. They are unashamedly feminist and speak of the importance of equality for women. From their start in the mid-1980’s to today they continue to call attention to issues of sexism, racism and discrimination, often doing so publicly. I like their use of humor and shock value, its hard not to take notice of a their work.
A Bit of Background
Just in case you are not familiar with the Guerrilla Girls, they are an anonymous collective of women who have dubbed themselves the conscience of the art world. They create posters, print projects, books, and social acts that expose racism and sexism in the art world and the larger culture. Their work has appeared in galleries and museums all over the world.
The Guerrilla Girls take the names of dead women artists as pseudonyms when appearing in public. Oh, yea, the also wear gorilla masks. The Guerrilla Girls have been active and maintained their anonymity for over 20 years, making them super-sheros in my book!
Thankful to be a Guerrilla Girl
That first awareness of the relationship art and artist have to the community was a big turning point for me. It helped me fall in love with art and set me on a path exploring the importance of art in our lives. I am so thankful for that knowledge and believe my world is so much more beautiful because of it.
As the Guerrilla Girls are anonymous and we don’t really know who may be a Guerrilla Girl, I like to think of myself as a Guerrilla Girl. I think you should do the same!