Gender, Age and Location Bias in the Art Market

by powhida on October 23, 2010

The case for gender/age bias in the art market, while not a new phenomenon, is so pervasive that the entire system may need to be dismantled in order for a viable gender/age neutral paradigm to evolve. Adding in location as another barrier, if the artist doesn’t live and work in New York or another large city, the obstacles often seem insurmountable. Presented by artists laelia e. mitchell of Boston, Joanie Gagnon San Chirico who lives in the NJ suburbs of NYC, Nicole Cohen, currently living in Berlin and in NYC, and with Rebecca Taylor from The Getty; the panel will explore the issues of galleries and museums promoting young emerging (and predominantly male) artists versus utilizing the proven track record and experience of the more mature artist. Most objectionable is the belief that only the young are in touch with cutting edge creativity, are innovative in vision, and capable of producing contemporary art of value. Note: As a counterpoint, we would like to add a younger male artist to refute our theories. Please email laelia.e.mitchell@gmail.com or joanie@joaniesanchirico.com if you’ll be in Miami and would like to participate. laelia e. mitchell http://www.laeliamitchell.com/ Joanie Gagnon San Chirico, Founder of pFAn – professional Fine Art network  http://www.professionalfineartnetwork.com/ Nicole Cohen, Director of the Berlin Collective http://berlin-collective.blogspot.com/ Rebecca Taylor http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rebecca-taylor
  • D.Bennett

    Gender /age bias exists in all areas of the U.S. culture and market, including the art market. It seems obvious that an artist’s work, not the artist, is what ought to be evaluated, yet that is not the case. The cultural prejudice in the U.S. is the idea that youth equals innovation, creativity and quality in art and older equals uncreative, unexciting, and less quality. Art magazines are full of hip young artists promoted as though their personality, youth and looks produce great art. It would be refreshing to see the selection of art by a gallery owners conducted like the “blind auditions” used for judging musicians, in which the art is judged by its own merits alone. Playing behind a screen, the idea is that the judges consider only the artistic merit of the musician’s playing, and are not influenced by whether the musician is a male or female, their attractiveness, their age, or if they are a friend, etc. The simple fact is that the longer you practice your craft – be it painting, writing, playing an instrument, etc. – the more accomplished you become, and therefore the better your art is.

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