Thursday, February 14, 2013

Male and Female Art

Is there a difference between male and female art; art made by male artists and female artists? I think there is. There are certainly some types of art that seem to be fixed more firmly in one gender or the other, with more "serious" oil paintings by men and more textile art by women for example. I wondered why.

I thought about nature and how in a animals the female can display something pretty to attract a male (of course, this happens in humans!) and the males have to somehow compete or prove to the female their worthiness (from a hoverfly's display of skill, to charging musk oxen). In art men can be keen to push the idea behind the work and prove their skill and intelligence in some way, and women seem to reluctant to even consider such rudeness, instead inviting others to judge and examine their creation. I've spoken to many female artists who just don't have an answer when asked "What is it about?" and when there is an answer it tends to be an examination of some aspect of society or technique, rather than a philosophical statement. To state something like that certainly seems to be a male trait. Thus spoke Zarathustra! Maybe that's why women make better writers ("show don't tell" is so important in writing because you must engage with the reader, interact, while occupying only one side of a conversation).

Of course, no person is wholly male or wholly female, I think, so there is great variation and always exceptions, but, if such differences exist I think it's important to consider and understand them, especially for those who must judge or critique art. Such a belief can suddenly add a meaning to art that would otherwise appear "meaningless". Next time I think "What does it mean?!" I might consider that it's the existence and creation of the art that conveys the meaning, not any message.

Now, is it ironic that this blog post is a statement of my idea?

I hope not tee hee.