Steinhauer's article is in response to another article (article within an article within an article...). Georg Baselitz is a successful 75 year old German painter interviewed by der Spiegel, credited in the article's introduction as "one of the world's most important painters." And, in the somewhat stereotypical fashion of a cantankerous old white guy, he spends most of the interview grumbling about museums and the media (because they don't give him enough attention, you see) and proclaims that in the art world, "women simply don't pass the test,"
and (drum roll please),
"Women don't paint very well. It's a fact."
Despite hearing this before, I still found myself shaking my head, then chuckling in solidarity when reading Jillian's deliciously satirical introduction:
Women, ladies, girls, however you identify — if you’ve got two X chromosomes,
I’m talking to you, and I have an unfortunate announcement: You can’t paint. At
least not well. So if you’re thinking about becoming a painter, don’t do it;
you’ll never be any good. If you already are one, I’m sorry; you should probably
take up knitting instead.
Baselitz comments that it's because women lack a "necessary brutality."
Oh, come off it.
Some delightful Tweeted responses to the interview are included in the Hyperallergic article, bringing many valid points to the table, particularly how the art world seems to reward this type of macho, attention-seeking pissing contest. Steinhauer wraps it up by saying, "All I can think of to really deal with Baselitz and his idiotic comments is to ignore him," and she's right.
Here's hoping that we can continue to prove such mindsets wrong, to others and to ourselves. Women, keep creating.