Guerrilla Girls in the Twin Cities

Feminist art initiative takes over


Zoe Wellik

A mural by the Guerrilla Girls, currently at the Walker Art Center.

Less than 5% of the artists in the Modern Art sections are women, while 85% of the nudes are of women,” reads a statistic from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. This polarizing inequality is what initially provoked the creation of the Guerrilla Girls in 1985, and what continues to fuel their work today.

Guerrilla Girls is a small, anonymous group of female feminists who fight against sexism and racism in the art world. Each of the women wear a gorilla mask when she is out in public in order to ensure the group’s anonymity and to keep the focus on the group’s work instead of its members.

One of the group’s posters, currently on display at the Walker Art Center. (from

The Guerrilla Girls believe that the fact that they must preserve their anonymity to avoid potential danger is indicative of the intense inequality that encapsulates our society.

The Minneapolis Institute of Art invited them to evaluate the work that they currently have on display, closing April 4. Their exhibit shows that even the art in our own city is not immune to the inequality that is so deeply rooted in our society; their exhibit initiates discussion surrounding whose art gets displayed and why.

The Guerrilla Girls make the point that art is made by, and for, everyone; however, these women make it clear that many women–and more so women of color–are being excluded from what is considered “the best” to show at museums. It is within this inequity that the Guerrilla Girls fight to create space for women artists to show their work and promote young artists to continue to create and exhibit their work.