A Criticism and Response to "Should art created by women be called feminist art?"
Updated: Jul 19, 2020
I came across this Dazed article by Anna Freeman. Titled, "Should art created by women be called feminist art?" the article took on feminism and feminist art. One thing I noticed in the article that needs to be addressed is quoted:
"Could there be someone who feels no need, and no pressure to be a feminist artist? What a thought. Noemie Goudal, a Parisian artist whose work centres around the relationship between us and nature, happily asserts ‘I don’t think my work is feminist at all.’ She tells me: “There was a moment when women in art needed to be feminist, but now in the Western world where I live, in my culture, I don’t feel the need. Well not so far!” While admitting she may be a little naïve, Goudal explains that it is hard for both men and women to get into art, and that she has never felt the pressure to be seen as a feminist crusader. “Because my work is really about nature and architecture, it’s not directly related to people or women,” she continues, “I don’t feel for me it’s the same issue to fight for.” Goudal is the only artist I have spoken to who doesn’t live with a feminist label shrouded around her work, and her personality in general. I wonder how she has escaped unscathed from the persistent pressure placed upon female artists today. An ironic turn has made feminism the norm, and neutrality the deviation, and I wonder if women can ever be seen as just artists."
I wanted to point out that Goudal never made anything directly related to women. She focused on architecture and nature. The reason she does not have feminist label is that she does not make much work beyond nature and architecture. There are several female artists that are not labeled as feminist. The freelance artist who goes by LavenderTowne is one of them since she mostly makes comics and content for YouTube channel on top of freelance work. I never made anything related to feminism at all. I am not interested in being a feminist. I just wanted to make comics and good stories. Lastly, it's not easy for anyone (men, women, nonbinary, intersex, or transgender) to get into professional art or even physics/engineering. Physics/ engineering program at my school is mostly male, and I have been the only gal in some of my classes. The thing is, even first semester class making up of mostly guys still see half of people drop out. I made it to 4th year this fall. It's grueling and math-heavy program.
The gender does not matter here. The intent behind the art is more important. No artwork should be called feminist just because the artist has female genitalia.
Honestly, even looking at art with neutral eyes, feminist art are among the worst in my opinion. My point being, there are some issues that need to be addressed in some countries, especially in Middle East, but at same time, there are a lot of issues with more recent a.k.a. 3rd/4th wave feminism here. For a starter, some of worst artworks I have seen are painting made of actual period blood! We are talking about serious biohazard here because I had to be trained to wear PPE for blood-borne diseases in case of accident in shop. Blood and bodily fluids could carry a lot of diseases from HIV to malaria. We do not know what the person has unless they say it out honestly. Saying it out loud, period blood painting is full of potential biohazards and should be treated as biohazard waste, not artwork. Period blood aside, many of feminist artwork have problems with anatomy, poor color choices, and overall unpleasant to look at. It seems that they are more focused on agenda than art itself. I want to see art, not agenda. It does not matter if she's in skimpy swimsuit with anime tiddies or the work is a Bob Ross's landscape art. (Though drawing sexy cat gals in lingerie is fun)
I have so much thoughts on feminist art. I have scheduled the next article tackling feminist art promoting fat acceptance amid COVID-19 pandemic and obesity crisis in U.S. for sometimes in early August.