Women and empowerment have always been a dear topic regularly featured in my paintings, so when in April 2019, just before World Art Dubai exhibition, I joined a group of artists in Dubai to launch the #ArtGap initiative in collaboration with Standard Chartered Bank. I was delighted to be part of the movement and felt that it presents a sincere opportunity to raise awareness amongst art lovers and collectors to promote an equal pay for Artists.
Renée B. Adams, Professor of Finance at the University of Oxford, is the lead author of the gender bias in art study, “Is gender in the eye of the beholder?” I this study she analysed 1.5 million auction transactions and concluded that people consistently ranked lower the art that they thought was produced by a female artist even when the works had been generated by artificial intelligence. Link to Video
In monetary value, art produced by women is priced on average 47.6% less than art produced by men – so to raise awareness about the issue, we painted 47.6% less where the canvas was left blank and priced our paintings at the full price! These paintings were displayed in modern art galleries in Dubai over an extended period of time right after the unveiling at WAD19. “She is King” – the tile of my #ArtGap painting – animated me to be proud of my work and rise above the noise that critics the artist before the art. I hope that my work will inspire many man and women so we can come together and bridge the Art Gap.
People loved the initiative, #ArtGap sent a loud and clear message and several artists started making their own version of incomplete artwork.
In late June 2019 I received an email from the Managing Director of a well-established art consultancy in London. Mr Tom wanted to acquire “She is King” on behalf of his client, an international bank – Standard Chartered Bank for their art collection and to display at their London HQ.
A pleasant ending of a journey for a very special painting – She is King is now proudly hanging on the walls at the reception of Standard Chartered Bank Head Quarter in London. Click Here for photos.
Beauty in diversity!
“In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.”— Sheryl Sandberg.