What Is Feminist Art?

From the Women’s Art Institute exhibition How to Be a Feminist Artist: How do I keep working in the studio, using my artistic skills and materials to express my intentions? How can I unlock my toolbox and truly express my authentic creative voice? Who is my audience and what do I want to show them? What does success look like for me? Where can I find a supportive community? How can I support others? What does it mean to have a woman’s body and make art? Is the gender question over or just beginning? Is feminism a conscious practice that I bring to my art? Do I have a responsibility to historical and contemporary women’s art? What is good, bad or beautiful? Who decides? Who cares?See more

The question of what is or creates feminist art is one that’s been heavily on my mind lately. Is it feminist art to write space opera with women in protagonist roles traditionally played by men? To what degree can art-as-entertainment be feminist? I don’t believe that feminist art and entertaining art are completely opposed categories – in fact I do believe that in order for art to be taken seriously by the world at large (as opposed to the Art Community), it must be entertaining and not be deadly serious.

The artistic forms and styles that entertain are not themselves wrong or evil – but they tend to uncritically embrace aspects of the status quo.

It’s a balancing act, to be sure. And one that I – shock – am still trying to figure out my balance in.

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2 Responses to What Is Feminist Art?

  1. Penny Horwitz says:

    I generally don’t consider this in my own work, I admit, especially since I’m writing about a male protagonist as the main POV character. I see feminism less in the stories we tell (since from what I’ve observed most women writers tend to write strong women, even when they are the point of view character), and more in our very presence in the genre itself.

  2. Pingback: Feminist Science Fiction: An Author’s Perspective | Artemis Flight Books

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