Guerrilla Girls

The Guerrilla Girls are an anonymous group of feminist, female artists devoted to fighting sexism and racism within the art world. The group formed in New York City in 1985 with the mission of bringing gender and racial inequality in the fine arts into focus within the greater community. Members are known for the gorilla masks they wear to remain anonymous. They wear the masks to conceal their identity because they they believe that their identity isn't important. Guerrilla Girl #1 explains in an interview "...mainly, we wanted the focus to be on the issues, not on our personalities or our own work." Also, their identity is hidden to protect themselves from the possible backlash of other people opposed to their views within the art community.

Origin and Formation

Guerrilla Girls were formed by seven women artists in the spring of 1985 in response to the Museum of Modern Art's exhibition "An International Survey of Recent Painting and Sculpture", which opened in 1984. The exhibition was planned to be a survey of the most important contemporary art and artists in the world.

During the show, 169 artists had their works featured, yet only 13 were female. Because of this, the women protested in front of the museum. This was the origin of the Guerrilla Girls. As they gained a larger audience and following, the group also started to focus on racism in art, not just sexism.

The name "Guerrilla Girls" and the idea of adopting a gorilla as their symbol actually evolved from a spelling error from a group member. One of the original members accidentally spelled the group name at a meeting "gorilla", and it stuck.

Modern Day, the group organizes protests, create posters, stickers, billboards and artwork for their agenda of feminism. In 2001, the group split into three different groups; partly because of dispute over copyright infringement. They also present at public speaking engagements and research into the unfair conditions of workings of women and minorities in the art world. Due to their notoriety, they have spoken at schools, universities, and museums across the world. They have also published several books as recently as 2012, mostly centered around the inequality of the art world. Their first book, "Confessions of the Guerrilla Girls" was published in 1998. The Guerrilla Girls continue to promote their views on the art world today.