Georgia O’Keeffe just broke the record for the the highest priced artwork by a woman at an auction. O’Keeffe’s work, Jimson Weed, White Flower No.1, was sold in November at at in auction in Sotheby for $44.4 million. The former holder of the record was John Mithel with her piece Untitled that sold for $11.9 million last May.
When I first came across this I didn’t really understand what the big deal was. So what, someones art is worth more than someone’s else’s, but the more I looked into to it the more I realized what the meaning of this was for woman in the art community. It might be hard to think that woman are still making achievements today that men have been doing for years. Women still have to fight for their right to be equal in a society that thrives and prides upon it.
O’Keeffe’s achievement stands out because it is the first time that a work a by a female matched the price of the artworks created by men. Of the hundred most expensive auctioned off art pieces ever, none is by a women. In the 1980’s a group known as the Guerrilla Girls brought up the issue of gender inequality in art for the first time.
Benjamin Godsill, a specialist at Phillips auction hose, says that he thinks that prices for women’s work will rise because people are looking for things that have been overlooked and undervalued.
However some people believe this is not an issue and the reason women’s artwork has not and still doesn’t cost as much as men is because their work is simply not good enough: because women just aren’t as good painters or drawers as men.
“The art market is not sexist…There has never been a first-rank woman artist. Only men are capable of aesthetic greatness “-Critic Brian Sewell“Women don’t paint very well. It’s a fact…As always, the market is right” -Painter George Baselitz