Every time I see a headline or an exhibition with “Female Artists” or “Women Artists” or “Black Artists” or “Latin American Artists” or “[Whatever People Segmentation Word] Artists” I die a little.
To think that, in 2017, with all the progress we had, the arts community — which, in theory, is (or should be) forward-thinking and avant-garde and liberal — still classifies and box in artists is, at least, sad.
Yes, unfortunately, the word ‘artist’ is still a synonym of white-male. From Cézanne to Picasso, to Van Gogh, to Matisse, to Pollock, to Andy Warhol, to David Hockney, to Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst: all the blockbusters, show-stoppers, headliners are caucasian dudes. But isn’t it time that we at least try to change that?
By adding [women] or [female] title, you help to corroborate that establishment, to differentiate people amongst the same group. A “woman” *cringe* artist is AN ARTIST as much as her male counterpart. The same goes for “black” artist. And if you happen to be a woman, and black, you automatically earn three extra last names: Jane Doe, Black Women Artist.
Enough with the categorizing. With the condescending bullshit. With the whole “we discovered this great group of women artists.” They were always there, doing fucking awesome work, and the misogynists at the time overlooked them just because they had vaginas instead of penises — and now they want to pretend that it was just an ‘oversight.’
While major institutions don’t step up to try changing the game, we will still be showered with ridiculous (and hard to digest) articles like these.