This Friday and Saturday I spent my days at the NASA Ames Research Center for Yuri's Night, a two day science, art, and music event that looks like what I would imagine Burning Man would be like if it was held at a high security, federal facility. It was an interesting weekend to say the least. Friday was easy enough since it was mostly school groups and kids with their parents. I was in my booth alone and had some interesting conversations with parents, teachers, and scientists regarding my artwork. Saturday was a different story altogether.
Since it was the weekend, Ben, being the devoted husband-to-be that he is, decided to help me out and keep me company during the 12 hour event. He sat next to me reading while I said hello to people as they stopped by my booth. Occassionally he would look up and say hi also but had very little interaction with people. So here's the interesting observation of the day: Even with my greeting people and interacting with them, and having my name posted really large at the front of the booth, 9 times out of 10, they assumed that Ben was the artist! He was constantly asked if the artwork was his, or asked how did he create each piece, or just complemented on HIS beautiful work. Now I didn't get too upset by this but it did get me thinking about people's assumption about art and who creates it.
Having taken a few workshops and attended the encaustic conference twice, I've noticed that the majority of the artist that attend these are women. Based on this observation, one can assume there are a lot of women artist out there, yet when you look in galleries and museums, the majority of the artists whose work is shown is male. Why is that? And does this make the average person assume that only men are capable of making good art? I don't really know the answer to this but I did find it interesting, especially since people assumed that Ben was the artist and not me. Does my work seem more male than female? I know that there is some work that I can look at and pretty reasonably guess the artists' gender but I didn't think that my work looked particularily male. I have been told that my drawings look more male than female, mostly because I draw using a heavy dark line which is supposedly a male trait, but I don't think that bleeds into my painting, or does it? Like I said, I don't know the answers to any of these questions but it was an interesting observation this weekend and it sure did make me think.