Whitney Action

MAKER:
Artist

Guerrilla Girls

DATE:
2015
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General Description

This video comes from the Guerrilla Girls’ Portfolio Compleat, a set of 109 posters, books, videos, and ephemera created between 1985 and 2016, representing over thirty years of the group’s activity.

Founded in 1985, the Guerrilla Girls are an anonymous collective of women artists who create protest art to expose gender- and race-based discrimination in the art world and broader cultural sphere. Wearing gorilla masks and drawing on tactics of guerrilla warfare and marketing, the group formed in response to the Museum of Modern Art’s 1984 exhibition An International Survey of Painting and Sculpture. The exhibition included works by 165 artists, only thirteen of whom were women and none of whom were people of color. During public appearances, group members maintain their anonymity and raise the profiles of deceased women artists by adopting pseudonyms such as Käthe Kollwitz, Gertrude Stein, and Frida Kahlo. Calling themselves the “conscience of the art world,” the Guerrilla Girls continue to decry museums, galleries, private collectors, and even Hollywood for failures of inclusion and representation.

The Guerrilla Girls' printed materials appropriate both the visual language and strategies of street advertising. Their printed campaigns use bold text, comedic images, and pop culture references in order to widely disseminate their message in an accessible, public manner.

Adapted from

  • Katherine Brodbeck, Label text, The Guerrilla Girls, 2018.

Web Resources

  • Guerrilla Girls
    Visit the collective's website to see a complete chronology of their performances, workshops, and posters, and to learn more about their ongoing work.

  • Tate Kids
    Explore this family-friendly guide to the Guerrilla Girls and their work.

  • Dallas Museum of Art
    Review the DMA's 2018 exhibition of a selection from the Guerrilla Girls' Portfolio Compleat.

  • YouTube
    View the Guerrilla Girls' Guide to Behaving Badly, 2016.

  • PBS Digital Studios
    Learn about the Art of Complaining with the Guerrilla Girls.