Renowned artist Lynn Hershman-Leeson spent 40 years gathering interviews and news footage for this stunning documentary profiling the feminist art movement, which seeks to empower female artists and improve their access to male-dominated art spaces.
As it says, it's a 40 year history of women making art and trying to make it in the white male-dominated world. It is a fascinating history, and it is still continuing today. It made me wonder if this attitude is affecting my ability to show and sell my own artwork. I don't think it's as difficult now as it was in the 1970's and 1980's when these women began their work, but I wonder now if it is an issue for me which I don't even realize.
I know people express to me that they feel shy about having a nude in their house - what will people think if they find they have a painting of a naked person in their living room - or bedroom - or bathroom? I never quite know what to say about that - after all, I have lots of them and don't have problems with it, even when I had students coming to the house regularly. I find people are less freaked out than potential customers seem to think they will be. I know my work is intense, and some people have difficulty with intensity - so be it. I just figure it'll give them the opportunity to be with their feelings and to take a look at their judgments!
I enjoyed watching the movie and seeing the art those women were creating. It isn't in the textbooks, and much of it isn't in the museums. Judy Chicago co-authored a book called Women and Art: Contested Territory. Even that book, though, isn't all about women creating art - it's primarily about how women are depicted in art - quite a different matter. So this documentary showed me a lot of work I hadn't been exposed to before.
If you're wanting to know more about the history of women's artwork, this movie is a good place to get at least one part of that history. Thanks, Lynn Hershman-Leeson!