My love of the visual arts was instilled in my soul as a young child living in Brussels, with parents who ensured their children received a first hand education in art as we toured European art galleries. I have fond memories of asking my mother about certain paintings, and feeling a whisper on and in my ear of the symbolism of a particular piece of art, the reasons for it being painted a certain way, and even why there were so many nude and semi-nude people in European art. All queries of a young mind.
As an young adult I moved to Canadian cities where the art world was small and lost contact with my childhood memories and connection with the visual beauty of another person's creativity. Visits to Ottawa and Montreal and their respective museums rekindled my love of art. During my first brief trip to New York City, I walked through the MoMa, MET and other galleries to build on my knowledge of art which had deepened to an appreciation of not only Medieval, Renaissance, and other European art, but also a further respect towards Surrealism, Abstract art, Pop art and now Contemporary art. While in the NYC galleries I had a sense that I was missing something, though I could not ascertain what what it was. After three days of meandering through various forms of art I realized I was missing my mother's voice in my ear, providing me with information and answering my queries. I was now an adult and had to provide the answers to my questions through my own research and thoughts. The adjustment to the missing voice was not easy.
Building on my childhood knowledge and developing my own art voice, I was intrigued when I say a group of women in the NYC streets with make-shift small stands, in odd costumes, asking people to complete their art survey. Being willing to participate in other people's work it slowly dawned on me that this was not an academic survey, but a rouse of different stations, each one enlightening the participant to the lack of women artists represented in museums and art galleries in New York. As it turned out, these interesting, vibrant and intelligent women were part of the Guerrilla Girls movement showing us at the end of the survey, that there are large numbers of female artists but their work is presented in on a fraction of major art galleries and museums in New York City. I had no idea.
This group along with many other individual artists are featured in Leeson's movie, which is one documentary not to be missed.
(Copied from http://www.guerrillagirls.com/posters/getnakedshanghai.shtml)