With the current art world fashion of the rich and powerful paying their art staff next to nothing, while expecting an MA and a PHD to sell catalogues in a museum shop; feminist activist group Guerrilla Girls have taken aim at the billionaire collector with their latest campaign.
“Cartels of collectors get behind the work of a few selected artists; galleries are paying for exhibitions of their artists at museums; and art fairs are showing the same bankable work over and over,” they told the Art Newspaper in an email statement.
The anonymous art collective turned 30 this year, and is still raising hell in its fight against art-world discrimination; with new plans to “take over” Minneapolis-St Paul USA next year with an “anti-billionaire” campaign. The feminist art group says the art world should expect more “stealth projections.”
This will include projections akin to the one displayed on the side of the Whitney Museum of American Art in May that read: “Dear art collector: art is sooo expensive, even for billionaires! We totally get why you can’t pay all your employees a living wage #poorlittlebillionaires.”
The campaign is part of the Guerrilla Girls Twin Cities Takeover, which includes a week-long festival, from 29 February to 6 March 2016, which will include more than 20 local institutions. This new collection of works aimed at the injustices currently facing impoverished art employees will also include the city’s Walker Art Centre, which will display protest posters created by the Guerrilla Girls between 1985 and 2012.
“White males still make almost all the money,” the collective states. “Women and artists of colour are here, empowered, and have all the skills and talent necessary. It’s the institutions and the billionaires behind them that must change. Museums have to figure out how to move away from the present market model for collecting art or they risk becoming irrelevant.” In the meantime, the Guerilla Girls have issued a warning to the Twin Cities: “Get ready to see some change.”
Image: Guerrilla Girls at Abrons Art Centre, New York, 2015.