The Myth of Agency Around Artists’ Signatures, Anoushka Bhalla, δημοσίευση στο Hyperallergic [31/3/2023]
It all began during the early Renaissance when a young Raphael Santi forewent the long-held tradition of co-operative art making under guild systems to autograph his first painting, “The Mystical Marriage of St. Catherine.”
While Raphael was modest in breaking long-established customs, obscuring his signature within decorations behind a Virgin Mary figure, his male successors centuries down the line would not remain as bashful. The signatures of Picasso and Keith Haring are far more familiar than that of, say, Helen Frankenthaler. Perhaps the reason for this inequity lies within the systemic treatment of women within art institutions. Museum collections are still disproportionately male. In fact, only 12% of artists within major US museum collections are female. Even worse, women of color occupy a mere 1% within these institutions. Consequently, it comes as no surprise that signed artworks by male artists fetch astounding prices in the secondary market as compared to their female counterparts. A recent study states that “For every £1 a male artist earns for his work, a woman earns a mere 10p.” The same study also states that “while the value of a work by a man rises if he has signed it, the value of a work by a woman falls if she has signed it, as if it has somehow been tainted by her gender.” Female artists have long been conscious of this gender disparity, with some feeling paralyzed against the market and choosing to forego their signatures to make their works more “collectible.” Are these artists signing away their autonomy too?
Η συνέχεια εδώ.