Motivated by the lack of women’s representation in the art world and in homage to the artists who inspire her, painter Rebecca Campbell started the You are Here project, which features a series of portraits, all of women artists.
Like in many other industries, there is a lack of gender parity in the art world. Women artists are being overlooked in several aspects, including gallery representation, auction price differentials, as well as representation in permanent collections and solo exhibition programs.
In an artist’s statement, Rebecca explains her motivation for the series:
“I struggle with not only the vast gender inequities across the board when it comes to women in the creative world, but also the particulars of my idols and friends being underestimated, underrepresented and underpaid. I am watching women disappear. I’m not a theorist but of course I want to have a say in the course of history so I am using what I do in a very literal way. I’m painting the portraits of every woman artist I know. I’m painting them so they will not disappear.”
So far there are 19 paintings in this on-going project. The women featured in the series work in a variety of disciplines and include painters, sculptors, writers and performers Amy Adler, Sarah Awad, Linda Besemer, Heather Brown, Kyung Sun Cho, Patricia Fernandez, Alexandra Grant, Annie Lapin, Gwynn Murrill, Julie Orser, Susan Silton, Jennifer Steinkamp, Mpambo Wina and Eve Wood among others.
“These are very successful women. Many of them have awesome careers,” Rebecca said of the project. “Many people in the art world will recognize these subjects and think, ‘She’s a hotshot,’ but then why are only 5% of works in major collections by women?”
It’s a good question that many in the industry are still asking, and trying to change. And although it may be awhile before significant sweeping changes are made, seeing Rebecca’s work and learning of her motivation for the project makes us feel very hopeful.
You are Here
Rebecca was born and raised in Salt Lake City, the youngest of seven children. She earned her BFA from Pacific Northwest College of Art and her MFA from UCLA, graduating in 2001. Her paintings have been exhibited across the U.S., from New York, Vermont and Florida, to Ohio, Utah, Colorado and California, and overseas in Madrid, Spain, and Basel, Switzerland. View more of the You are Here portraits.
You are Here is currently on exhibition at L.A. Louver in Venice, CA until February 13, 2016.