Is Today’s Art Market Still a Boys’ Club?

The cover of Prada's magazine Candy Florle edition reflecting the art market
Au Naturel by BBuzzArt artist Amelia A J Foy (ladyly)

Austrian artist Katharina Cibulka has stitched ‘As long as the art market is a boys’ club, I will be a feminist,’ across the facade of the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna as part of her ongoing public art project ‘Solange’. This artistic act has caught the eye of the public towards the gender parity of the current art market. Along with all other gender equality controversies, the male dominance phenomenon in the art market has constantly initiated heated discussions in these decades.

This challenge can be traced back to Second-wave Feminism, when Guerrilla Girls questioned the art institution with their well-known yellow poster in 1989. Stating the fact that ‘less than 5% of the artists in the Modern Art Sections were women, but 85% of the nudes are female‘, they asked with their slogan ‘Do Women Have To Be Naked To Get Into the Met. Museum?’ in a sarcastic manner.

What about now?

According to Artprice’s 2017 international report on the contemporary art market, figure shows that among the top 500 contemporary artists in worldwide auction houses, only 14% are woman artists. Although for artists born after 1980 the percentage of women rises to 31%, it is true that the gender imbalance is still substantial.

‘The path to the top is still long, because the art market is still dominated by men,’ in response to Cibulka’s artistic act, the School Head of the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Eva Blimlinger commented. The artist agreed with that, saying, ‘there are still many hurdles to overcome in the international art market until men and women are placed on equal footing.’

What could be done?

We can always invest hope on our future. If more opportunities are given to young and emerging female artists to sell their artworks and gain publicity before entering the auction market, the balance might be foreseen. In such a way, we need a liberal platform which support equal opportunities.

The start-up online gallery BBuzzArt is an agency tailored for vibrant artists regardless of their identities. Through the online system, any young and emerging artists can submit their works to BBuzzArt and get exposed to the world. The website is user-friendly for both artists and collectors. BBuzzArt has now gathered over 14,000 artists and keep striking to generate more opportunities for them to enter the bigger art market. If you wish to join us to create a more ideal art world with equal opportunities, go to our website and learn more.

Buzzing Art, Budding Artist. www.bbuzzart.com

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