The Art World Is A Boys' Club debate
Botticelli's Venus. Warhol's Marilyn. Chen Yifei’s Beauties.
Historically, the creation of art has been largely the preserve of men. And not a lot has changed. In recent years, the top 100 highest grossing living artists at auction were men, selling predominantly to male buyers. Women run just a quarter of the biggest art museums in the world, earning about a third less than their male counterparts. More women then men graduate from art school, but fast forward a few years and it's the men who are making it big, in the market, the galleries and the museums. So what's going on? The art world is a boys' club, that's what.
This is the gripe of those who think the system is stitched up against women, but whose fault is it really? Perhaps women don’t ‘lean in’ enough, or get sidetracked by motherhood. And while gender imbalance remains a fact, things have improved quite dramatically for women in the art world, especially when compared to the business world and its glass ceilings. From Middle Eastern sheikhas to American museum directors, from Korean gallerists to Japanese conceptual artists, the trajectory is up, not down, which is what really matters.
So is the art world a bastion of male privilege and prejudice, or an evolving arena where women are continually breaking the mould? Come to the debate on March 15th, hear the arguments and decide for yourself.
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