The Guerrilla Girls' Bedside Companion to the History of Western Art
Written by a collective of female artists and art professionals, a unique, humorous guide explores and often corrects the male-centric history of classic Western art traditions by offering slightly altered renditions of works throughout the ages.
We were Guerillas before we were Gorillas. From the beginning, the press wanted publicity photos. We needed a disguise. No one remembers, for sure, how we got our fur, but one story is that at an early meeting, an original Girl, a bad speller, wrote 'Gorilla' instead of 'Guerilla.' It was an enlightening mistake. It gave us our mask-ulinity. Ever wonder about the abundance of naked male statues in the Classical section of your favorite museum? Did you know medieval convents were hotbeds of female artistic expression? And how did those "bad boy" artists of the twentieth century make it even harder for a girl to get a break? Thanks to the Guerrilla Girls, those masked feminists whose mission it is to break the white male stronghold over the art world, art history-as we know it-is history. Taking you back through the ages, the Guerrilla Girls demonstrate how males (particularly white males) have dominated the art scene, and discouraged, belittled, or obscured women's involvement. Their skeptical and hilarious interpretations of "popular" theory are augmented by the newest research and the expertise of prominent feminist art historians. "Believe-it-or-not" quotations from some of the "experts" are sprinkled throughout, as are the Guerrilla Girls' signature masterpieces: reproductions of famous art works, slightly "altered" for historic accuracy and vindication. This colorful reinterpretation of classic and modern art, as outrageous as it is visually arresting, is a much-needed corrective to traditional art history, and an unabashed celebration of female artists.
[A] tart, funny, lurid little bomb of a book. It's all p.c., of course, but not at all predictable, and a lot of righteous information gets dispersed in record time.-- Bust Magazine
'The Guerrilla Girls are a group of anonymous artists and art professionals whose mission is to expose racism, sexism, and homophobia in the art world. The introduction presents an overview and critique of traditional art history, and following chapters highlight various time periods and the female artists who were at work during those eras. From classical Greece to the present, the group introduces many "mistresspieces" that have been overlooked by traditional male critics. This irreverent and sometimes angry review of art history makes use of humor and satire to illuminate the issues and to exact a small revenge on a field that has dismissed many gifted individuals on the basis of gender and/or ethnicity. A chronology of general women's history entitled, "Guerrillas in the Midst of History" opens the book. Lively text and a creative adaptation and interpretation of famous works will hold the interest of teens while introducing them to a revisionist and more inclusive history of art in the Western world.' --Debra Shumate, Bull Run Regional Library, Manassas, VA School Library Journal
The Guerrilla Girls are a collective of female artists and art-world professionals. Their largest contingent is in New York City, but they have been sighted all over the United States, Europe, and wherever truth, justice, and the American way of discrimination still prevail.