Shaping the Figural Gaze was borne out of the lack of perspective within art that is displayed and sold in galleries and museums. This exhibition, curated by Jessica Ban and Helen Pinto, is dedicated to platforming art of and by marginalized bodies to combat the unequal ratio of BIPOC, queer, and femxle art and perspectives that are being showcased within the museum and art worlds.
Just within the United States, 85% of artists shown are white, 87% are men. Worldwide, only 14% of museum and gallery art (both past and present) is by those identifying as women. No studies to date have been done to show the exact disparities within the art world of those on the LGBTQ+ spectrum. The goal of Shaping the Figural Gaze is to bring to light the inequality of the museum and art worlds, by calling attention to bodies that have been deemed unconventional in some way.
Here we have platformed 45 works by over 40 different artists, all from a myriad of backgrounds and locations. We wish to counter traditional Eurocentric and patriarchal museum installations by presenting the works of BIPOC, femxle, and queer identifying artists whose skill in the figural helps to demonstrate a diverse array of contemporary visions, sensitivities, and ideals, that usurp or unconventionally assume the traditional utilization of male and/or dominant gazes. In order to do this, we must as a society address institutionalized gender roles and gendered racial stereotypes, along with the subsequent sexism and racism perpetuated by them. Ideas presented here will work to help you interrogate and examine the traditional motives and depictions of gender and sex, while proposing new or uncommon narratives. All will be addressed from BIPOC, queer and femxle perspectives that are traditionally unheard from, with the purpose of facilitating conversations surrounding the reconstruction of traditional racialized and gendered power structures upon which these institutionalized spaces like the museum were built and thrive.