The Artdog Quote(s) of the Week
In recognition of Women’s History Month, I thought I’d focus on quotes about women in the arts as this month’s theme.
Yeah, try Googling that phrase under “images.” The quote that seemed to come back with just incredible frequency was this one:
Um, EXCUSE ME, but what does that have to do with Women in the Arts?
One image that came up near the top of the search results is a poster visible on the Tate website (but not available for reposting) about the very tongue-in-cheek “advantages” of being a woman artist in 1988. “Advantage” #1, “Working without the pressure of success,” gives a taste of how the list is oriented.
Then compare a couple of other quotes that came up several times:
Okay, that’s fairly hopeful, if dated. But then there’s this:
Well, as they used to say, ain’t that a kick in the head? I don’t think either gender comes off looking too good, in Beecham’s estimation. In the age of Harvey Weinstein, however, it’s hard to say he was inaccurate about the existence of “unscrupulous men.”
Number one that came up was from an article about conceptual artist Jenny Holzer, and it’s not exactly a paean of optimism, either:
I . . . sorry. After spending a stimulating month of February reading engrossing fiction by women such as Becky Chambers, Diana Wynne Jones, Martha Wells, Jennifer Foehner Wells, and Nnedi Okorafor, and having recently delighted in the artwork of Simini Blocker, Karen Ann Hollingsworth, and Jody A. Lee, not to mention amazing new artwork being produced (but not yet posted online) by Lucy A. Synk, I actually felt pretty good about women in the arts.
I genuinely thought I’d find a more optimistic range of quotes. Frankly, sisters, we owe ourselves a better set of quotes. What’s on offer is pathetic.
Are things perfect? No. Humans aren’t, so human things won’t be. But things don’t have to be uniformly bleak. Women in ALL of the arts are doing amazing things. If no one else is talking about it, then we ought to begin.
IMAGES: The Helen Rowland quote about bachelors is from Quote HD. So is the Hedy Lamarr quote. The Thomas Beecham quote is courtesy of Quotefancy. The “Rules you live by” quote-image comes from a thoughtful essay by Lauren C. Byrd on her “Make Art History” blog.