About the Artist
The Guerrilla Girls are an anonymous group of female artists and art-world professionals. In the role of "feminist masked avengers," their stated mission is to use "facts, humor, and outrageous visuals [to expose] sexism, racism, and corruption in politics, art, film, and pop culture." Since the mid-1980s they have aimed their sassy wit at museums (including the National Gallery of Art), art dealers, curators, collectors, critics, and even other artists.
In 2007 21 staff members of the National Gallery of Art, calling themselves the Gallery Girls, made personal contributions to an acquisition fund in order to purchase for the Gallery the Guerrilla Girls' Most Wanted portfolio containing 30 of the group's most illustrious posters from 1985 to 2006, including the now historic 1989 poster about the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In a campaign to raise the consciousness of the art world, the Guerrilla Girls surveyed the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, tallying the number of female nudes versus male nudes and the number of works by female artists versus those by male artists. Their findings were very revealing: less than 5 percent of the artists in the modern galleries were women, while fully 85 percent of the nudes were female. To publicize their discovery, they designed a poster with Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres's sumptuous nude Odalisque and Slave (Walters Art Museum, Baltimore), disguising the woman's face with a gorilla mask. Originally commissioned as a billboard by the Public Art Fund of New York City but ultimately rejected, this poster caused a stir when the artists rented advertising space on New York City's public buses and displayed it themselves. The Guerrilla Girls have reproduced their study over the years and updated the poster accordingly. This mug features their 2012 version.
- Fine bone china