“We are not surprised,” begins a letter co-penned by women from every corner of the art world. Signed by more than 1,800 women so far, it includes appalling claims of being “groped, undermined, harassed, infantilized, scorned, threatened, and intimidated by those in positions of power who control access to resources and opportunities.” These female artists are making a stand against entrenched sexism and abuse in the art world.
This letter, and the corresponding article, follows news stories surrounding Harvey Weinstein and other abuses of power involving women. It’s accompanied by art from cosigner Jenny Holzer, which reads “Abuse of Power Comes As No Surprise.” It’s unfortunate that this abuse includes the art industry.
The initial focus of the letter is on one particular contemporary art magazine, but goes on to discuss the issues in a more general light. The letter ends with the powerful rallying cry #NOTSURPRISED.
As a company that lives and breathes art, we cannot simply ignore this letter: these artists, all of them, deserve a response. At Art.com, we’re standing by these women. We believe them, and we stand in solidarity with their experiences and their strength. This is a big reason why we will continue to feature female-identifying artists in the #WomenInArt series on our social channels, and why we strive to continually improve our representation of women and minorities in the arts. We commend these women for their courage in stepping into the light. In whatever ways we can, we will stand beside them.