The art world has a history of being male-dominant. Although things have improved in the last couple of decades, there's still a great imbalance between the opportunities offered to female artists when compared to their male counterparts. A 2015 article by Maura Reilly, published in Artnews, uncovered just how serious this problem continues to be in the second decade of the twenty-first century.
To better portray how harder it is for women to make it as successful artists, the article focused on the different levels of exposure available for men and women in a variety of places, such as museums, Biennials, magazines, and galleries. The figures speak for themselves. Between 2007 and 2015, when the article was written, only 16% of solo exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou in Paris were of female artists. This is better than the 7% of works by women displayed at the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection in New York. In the entirety of 2014, an art magazine called Artforum featured the picture of a female artist only once on its cover. Furthermore, the most a piece of art by a woman has been sold for is US$44.4 million dollars (Georgia O’Keefe), while over thirty done by men have gone over the US$100 million dollar mark. It’s evident that there’s still a lot of work to do to achieve real gender equality in the arts.
This inequality makes projects such as Her Side of the Street play a crucial role in popularizing art made by women, especially to younger generations. The multi-platform social media project aims to promote female street photographers from all over the world. It serves as a platform where artists can show their work and meet fellow photographers, curators, or editors that could help them launch their careers. They have a blogzine on Medium, as well as several social media profiles that showcase incredible images.
Casey Meshbesher started Her Side of the Street after she realized that photography, particularly street photography, is a field still mostly reserved for men, as she explained in an interview for The Guardian. Every day the various social media profiles controlled by the project post a few pictures of street life in countries like Mexico, Brazil, and South Africa, to name a few. Whether black and white or filled with bright colors, the artists manage to find beauty in everyday places we go through in our daily routines: storefronts, sidewalks, subways.
To prove just how brilliant Her Side of the Street is, we've selected seven photographers, with Instagram profiles, whose powerful work is featured on the site.
1. Rebecca Wiltshire (@rebeccawiltshire)
2. Sonia Madrigal (@sonicarol)
3. Francesca Gennari (@fran.gennari)
5. Sara (Wendel) Melhuish (@swendeluk)
6. Mirella Riva (@miririva)
7. Angie Pappas Constable (@angie.constable)
So there you have it. Go follow these photographers and don't forget to follow Her Side of the Street as well.
And if you liked that, check out 10 psychedelic Instagram artists and photographers that show through their work the diversity of the world.