sumi ink, gesso, acrylics, graphite on paper
10 x 7 in.
I began drawing, writing, and painting in grammar school and spent most of my college years in art galleries and museums. I rarely thought about who made the art or that most galleries and museums featured mostly male art. The closest I came to thinking about women’s art was seeing Whistler’s Mother in an art magazine.
I paid little attention to comments about women’s art and feminist viewpoints. I was an exhibiting artist making money, and did not need to join a women’s art group, or so I thought.
My world shattered when OJ Simpson was acquitted for murdering his wife in 1994. A feminist light went on in my head. I created a painting, glued crosses on its surface, and hung a Barbie doll in the center. I gave wakes for her then cremated her, a few times. When I asked to exhibit her in a gallery I was told, NO, and to stick to my color field painting.
I began reading feminist literature and returned to school to study women’s art history. I titled my dissertation Barbie, Brains, and Bricolage.
© Sandy Mayo