Meet the Guerrilla Girls

In advance of their appearance at FIT on Wednesday, May 2, the Guerrilla Girls sat down with Newsroom to talk about their mission and their work. Please note that this performance is sold out, but a video of it will be made available shortly afterward here on Newsroom.

Photo © Andrew Hindraker. Guerrilla Girls artists Kathe Kollwitz, Zubeida Agha and Frida Kahlo

1) What do you want people—particularly FIT students and the FIT community—to come away with after seeing you in person? What is their call to action?

We need to hold our cultural institutions responsible for telling the history of our culture not the history of wealth and power.

2) Talk a little bit about “creative complaining.”

We believe you can’t just point at something and say this is bad. To change people’s minds you need to twist the message in some memorable way. Our way has always been humor. If you can get someone who disagrees with you to laugh, you have a hook into their brain.

3) Have the Guerrilla Girls seen any improvement in the inclusion of women artists since their inception? If so, what specific victories have there been? 

When we started complaining about the art world’s lack of diversity, everyone said that women and artists of color were just not making art that was good enough. No one would say that now. Everyone understands that there are systematic obstacles that make the art world unfair, so that’s a victory. But old habits die hard, even though our thinking has changed many institutions still favor white, male artists—it’s our job to keep bugging them.

4) If you had your way, would everyone be a Guerrilla Girl? Why or why not?

No! The world doesn’t need more Guerrilla Girls, it needs more feminist masked avenger groups! Wouldn’t that be scary?