Draw me a Picture.



Before I get into this, let me say up front, I know nothing about art, I know that I can look at a piece of art and decide if I like it or I don’t, but get into arty farty conversations about Art with a capital A? Nope. Haven’t a clue.

But Gemma Tipton in the Irish Times has a bit of a bee in her bonnet about what she calls:

A man’s world? Sexism and gender issues in art

Mon, Nov 25, 2013 by  Gemma Tipton


Hmmm, of all the topics to raise the issue of sexism and gender issues about? Art? Really? Forgive me and my ignorance but isn’t Art subjective? Doesn’t it all boil down to what people either like or don’t like?

Uh huh says Ms. Tipton, its sexism!

Her reaction to two males she quotes is telling. First she quotes Georg Baselitz:

“According to one of the leading post- war painters, Georg Baselitz, it is because women can’t paint. Earlier this year, the German artist said in an interview with Der Spiegel, that “women don’t paint very well. It’s a fact.” They “simply don’t pass the market test, the value test. As always, the market is right.”

Then she moves on to quote Brian Sewel.

“Only men are capable of aesthetic greatness. Women make up 50 per cent or more of classes at art school, yet they fade away in their late 20s or 30s. Maybe it’s something to do with bearing children.”

And her reaction to these sexist men?

“Fuming in indignation at such comments, one is often not allowed to say that men and women make different kinds of art.”

As part of her little strop about this sexism in art she has this to say:

“Artprice. com’s list of the top-priced 300 works selling at auction, between 2008 and 2012, doesn’t include a single woman. Gagosian Gallery’s current major survey exhibition, The Show Is Over, includes 34 men and just one woman. The existence of famous female artists, such as Tracey Emin, gives the impression that we have achieved equality; but Emin herself discovered the contrary in her 2006 documentary film, What Price Art, in which she stood outside Tate Britain asking visitors to the gallery to name three artists. Not a single woman’s name was mentioned.”

Now, I do know who Tracey Emin is, in a vague, heard her name and have seen her once or twice on TV and more to the point have seen pictures of her “art” and what did I think, at the time?

That is the biggest load of shit I’ve ever seen! An unmade bed in a filthy bedroom? THAT’S art? Pluuuuuuuuuuuueeeze! If anything I’d be inclined to nominate Tracey Emin as a candidate for the TV show “How Clean is Your House

Tipton mentions that the top 300 selling works at auction between 2008 and 2013 “doesn’t include a single woman

Really? Is that so? My reaction? So what! Because here’s the thing Gemma, the operative word is AUCTION, as in people with money to buy art, bid on pieces of art they WANT! Now, how is that complicated?  From the little I know about art, I know this, some people are prepared to spend millions on a piece of art, more importantly on pieces of art they value, they like, they want. If they don’t want, don’t like, or are not prepared to spend money on “art by women” then boo bloody hoo!

Like I said art is subjective, so in that vein here are some lists:

The top 100 paintings of all time is the first:


The top ten painters of all time:


And yep, zero women in the top ten, now to be honest I didn’t go down through the list of the top 100 paintings but, making an guess, women in there? Wouldn’t bet on it.

So, something that pertains to people’s personal likes and dislikes, preferences and tastes is “sexism” if people choose to NOT like, not prefer “art by women” or don’t find “art by women” to their taste?

Methinks Gemma needs to get over herself, and sooner rather than later.

© Anja Eriud 2013



6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Grumpy Old ManGRumpy Old Man
    Nov 25, 2013 @ 19:52:46

    I think this illustrates the depravity of Feminist thought. Art is one of the few skills in which they cannot, should or are silly to claim sexism IMO, it stands or it does not. Unfortunately when Feminists make these same assertions in other skills the water gets muddied and we all have to tolerate it until we can expose it. Maybe from that angle this illustrates the point.


    • Anja Eriud
      Nov 25, 2013 @ 20:11:53

      Actually what struck me the most about this article was the sheer bloody stupidity of it. As I said I am a complete philistine, my only “skill” being to look at something and say “I like that” or “I don’t like that”

      But here we have this woman having a moan because, over the course of hundreds of years almost all of the great artists have been or are men. Completely ignoring the obvious reason, because MEN turned out to be the creative genius’s!

      Who will she blame? God? Biology? The patriarchy?

      I think feminism is truly getting desperate, casting about for some new “thing” to have a whine about. I agree with your point about “other skills” in that feminists simply cannot seem to accept that some people ARE more talented than others, and some of those talented people happen to be MEN.

      Actually had to read it twice before I realised…………SHE’S serious! She really believes that the world acknowledging the talent, the creativity of great artists simply because they are men is sexist!!!!


  2. reyeko
    Nov 27, 2013 @ 01:09:50

    It honestly pisses me off that people can’t see these issues as “is there a barrier preventing [demographic] from doing [activity]? no? then no problem!”
    it’s that easy, nothing is stopping women from smearing paint on a canvas and calling it art, therefore no discrimination.
    Also I know this is specifically about painting but a Japanese woman composed some of the greatest videogame music of all time. I find it funny that this highly successful female artist in the tech industry came from a country that still has strict gender roles. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1QC3CtGGJ4


    • Anja Eriud
      Nov 27, 2013 @ 17:47:21

      Actually Reyeko, I agree with you, one of my children is “into” Japanese cartoons, are they cartoons? Anime I believe it’s called, she thinks its art, and who am I to argue, I’ve seen some of the pictures and yes, some of them are incredibly “artistic”.

      As I said, I’m a philistine, but talent IS talent, and if x number of people appreciate, enjoy and concur with one another that an individual has “talent” the so be it.

      There is NOTHING stopping anyone, male or female from expressing themselves in whatever medium they wish, be it music, art, whatever, all it takes is the TALENT,the desire and the drive I suppose.

      Of course, what seemed to pissing Ms Tipton off, is that whatever “art?” was produced by female artists was ignored, there was no rush to buy it. Totally missing the point, as per usual with feminists.

      No one wanted it, no-one bought it, because – it was shit!


  3. DaPoet
    Nov 29, 2013 @ 14:04:55

    I agree Art is subjective and unfortunately Art galleries – at least those who want to make money – pander to the snobbish tastes of those who have the money and the overinflated egos to please by spending it. Those who have millions of dollars to spend on expensive Art Works the average person can’t afford do so not because they like that particular painting or sculpture but because of the EGO BOOST and the message that owning it sends to those in their own social circle and beyond.

    In my view the best contemporary artwork isn’t being shown in art galleries but at the various science fiction and fantasy conventions like the one I attended a few years ago. Where two artists – one male and the other female – featured their paintings. I chose to buy a picture painted by the female artist of a lovely female angel dressed in white playing a harp underneath a tree with its limbs encased in ice. Both because I liked it and because the modesty of her dress wouldn’t offend my wife nor scandalize or make future visitors to my home uncomfortable. Unlike the scantily clad female depictions of the male artist which were quite arousing but the sort of paintings one would not want to show his parents or preacher.


  4. Anja Eriud
    Nov 29, 2013 @ 14:40:12

    A fair point about the motives of those with the wherewithal to buy “Art”. In my entire life there have only been two artists work which somehow resonated with me. The first was and is the sculptor Auguste Rodin, I went to Paris so I could sit in the garden of the Rodin Museum and just look. The second was a female artist called Pauline Bewick, I found her paintings incredibly haunting and evocative.

    Had I the money I would have bought one of her works, and most definitely a Rodin sculpture. Alas, t’was not be.

    Here are some links. Enjoy.



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