Guerrilla Girls

Website created by Evelyn Lucero

"If you're in a situation where you're a little afraid to speak up, put a mask on. You won't believe what comes out of your mouth."

The Formation of the Guerrilla Girls

In the year of 1984, there was an exhibition called “An International Survey of Painting and Sculpture” on display in The Museum of Modern Art located in New York. The overall purpose of the exhibition was to give the audience a quick overview of the most important and valued pieces of contemporary art worldwide. However, some people ended up realizing that only 13 artists out of the 169 artists whose work was being displayed were women. Kynaston McShine was the curator of the event and he expressed to the audience that any artist who had not been included in the show should rethink “his” career. This caused an eruption of emotions as several artists were offended by the comments being made and there were even women who partook in the demonstration in front of the museum with posters. Despite all the people who were trying to speak up against the offensive ideas which indirectly promoted the beliefs that women were not capable of the same things as men, some people who were witnessing what was going on did not pay any attention to them. The feminist activists made an effort to be listened to by those with power, as they wearing their masks and took on the names of famous people such as “Frida Kahlo” as a way to protect their actual identities. Women participating in the protests began to question why their actions were having no effect on others. This however was only the beginning of this group as they came together to think about how they could publicly show the presence of discrimination against women.

The members of the Guerrilla Girls wear their gorilla masks whenever they are out in public represeting the group of activists. .Source

The Guerrilla Girls group formed officially in the 1985 and they relied on one another to reveal the truth to the world. The Guerrilla Girls had panel discussions specifically about the art world and received a lot of questions as to why they had chosen to wear gorilla masks. The group found themselves believing in the power that they had as women and not focusing as much on the image that the masks gave them. Many may have not found their masks to be appealing but that wasn't what they were about, the Guerrilla Girls were formed to embrace the power of women. The group included hardworking women who had humor and what they thought to be “good” energy. The members found themselves dealing with the difficulties that most if not all women end up facing sometime during their lives. Difficulties such as having to put up with sexist and racist ideas had been embedded into the nature of women and they wanted to do more than just stay quiet. They knew and firmly believed that women did too much to not be given any attention or simply be forgotten.