The art world is evolving just like many other things in our world. There are more opportunities for artists to get their work out there and for other people to discover and promote new artists. However, there still remains an issue for women in the art world. Although there have been some improvements over the years, women are still underrepresented in art. Men rule the art world but is it because women are just not that interested in art or is there a deeper underlying issue. We talk to two women who are helping shape the future of art for the next generation.
Emma Moir owns and runs Box Galleries, a contemporary art gallery in Chelsea, London.
What does it mean to be a woman in art?
I think being a woman in art is empowering and despite it being historically a male-dominated industry, I believe the tides are slowly beginning to change. You no longer have to have grey hair, glasses and deep pockets in order to make a change and create your own destiny in the art world. Many “Galleristas” are now creatively running successful galleries, pop up exhibitions, partaking in the most important art fairs, collaborating with interior designers to provide rotating artwork for commercial venues and generally working together creatively in such an ever-changing market.
I set up Box Galleries in 2012 and being a young(ish) female gallery owner, I have faced many situations where prejudices have been made but it just makes me more determined to succeed.
Are women in the art industry really underrepresented?
Overall women are underrepresented and there are a few different strands to this where equality has by no means been met. For example, female artists represented in commercial galleries, female artists featured in top auction sales, Galleristas, female artists having major exhibitions and showing in big museums such as Tate Modern, National Gallery, Saatchi Gallery.
I think sometimes there is a general consensus that there must be a man behind a woman who is succeeding in the art world and therefore it does occasionally feel as if women are on the back foot. I am sure there are as many if not more female artists to male artists, however, we just hear and see the male artists a lot more. Other than Tracey Emin who has defied the statistics and patterns, I don’t believe many people out there could name any other female artists.