How do the Guerrilla Girls use humor in their work?
Though the Guerrilla Girls confront serious issues such as sexism, racism, and corruption, they often include humor, wordplay, and surprising graphics in their work as well. They pair droll, often biting language with eye-opening facts and statistics, an approach intended to shake audiences out of complacency.
Appropriating the sensational language of advertising, news, and tabloids, they expose discrimination, often naming specific institutions, critics, and collectors who have contributed to inequity by overlooking women and people of color. They use irony and sarcasm to point out hypocrisy and double standards prevalent in the art world and beyond.
In one of their best-known works, they ask, “Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum?” This points out the discrepancy between works by women versus works showing women, often nudes. In another, they sardonically list advantages of being a woman artist, including “Having the opportunity to choose between career and motherhood” and “Not having to undergo the embarrassment of being called a genius.”
Artists at Work Video Series: Guerrilla Girls
Artwork on View
Learn More about the Guerrilla Girls
The Guerrilla Girls are an anonymous collective of artist-activists promoting gender and racial equality.