Guerrilla Girls

December 20, 2007
by findingDulcinea Staff
“Fighting discrimination with facts, humor and fake fur!”—That’s the motto of the internationally acclaimed, activist artist group, The Guerrilla Girls. In 1985, a group of women artists decided protest the gender disparity in the art world. To display their creativity and defend themselves from backlash from the male-dominated art scene, they adopted “guerrilla-style” tactics, which involved wearing hairy gorilla masks in public, and adopting pseudonyms in honor of deceased female artists such as Gertrude Stein.

Museum Challengers

Visually engaging and peppered with comic illustrations, the Guerrilla Girls Web site is a fun way to learn more about the group. Discover the history behind the group’s founding, see what the Girls have been up to lately, and view photos of their antics.
Read what The New York Times has to say about the new digital arts wing of the female activist group, Guerrilla Girls BroadBand, which launched a politically oriented Web site a few years ago.
Do women have to be naked to get into the Metropolitan Museum? The Guerrilla Girls first asked this question in 1989 when they discovered that less than 5 percent of artists represented in the Met were women. To view the original advertisement, visit the Guerrilla Girl’s poster archive.
To challenge your notions of art history, pick up a copy of The Guerrilla Girls' Bedside Companion to the History of Western Art. The book is described as “a colorful reinterpretation of classic and modern art, as outrageous as it is visually arresting….”

Frida Kahlo, Alive and Well

To conceal their identities, the Guerrilla Girls take the name of history’s most celebrated female artists. The feminist blog Feministing recently interviewed the activist who has taken the pseudonym “Frida Kahlo.”
Frida Kahlo and Käthe Kollwitz, two founding members of the Guerrilla Girls, speak on a panel on Activism/Race/Politics at the Museum of Modern Art. Watch a video clip of their presentation on YouTube.

Trouble in the Jungle

Within the past few years, two of the original Guerrilla Girls, “Frida Kahlo” and “Käthe Kollwitz,” filed a federal lawsuit against the on-tour and broadband wings of the group, charging them with copyright and trademark infringement, among other things. The New Yorker discusses the tensions that have arisen within the group.
After a recent on-campus visit, Swarthmore College’s Daily Gazette reviewed the Guerrilla Girls’ event. Not all were happy with the group’s message; one student commented that "the constant sarcasm was a bit much."

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