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A female insurrection is needed in the arts

Rosario Pérez · Photos: Fran Montes

Magda Bellotti

The “Women in Visual Arts” Association’s annual prizes were presented on December 1st to acknowledge the significant yet still underestimated contribution of women to the arts.

Gallerist Magda Bellotti (Algeciras, 1957) has been honoured together with the artist Paloma Navares, the businesswoman Rosina Gómez Baeza, the art critic Margarita Aizpuru and Sandra Seldas, winner of the prize for artists under the age of 35 .

Bellotti feels greatly honoured and claims the field of arts is undergoing a critical stage.

Magda Bellotti
Magda Bellotti

“The growing number of art shows, the outbreak of new technologies as well the challenge of coexisting with other visual media have caused us damage”, she says. “A different and new kind of art experience is growing in popularity and a physical venue to host an exhibition is no longer as important as it used to be. Only by reinventing themselves can galleries face such a challenge”.

After a 35 year career, Magda Bellotti is also deeply concerned about how little consideration is given to women in the world of Arts. “Unbelievably, the situation has hardly changed over the last 35 years…. Even though we are half the country’s population, the Equality legislation is not being implemented.

We lack parity, which is plain to see in the low number of women featuring in museum or trust collections….. Female artists struggling to succeed find it harder to gain the recognition that male artists do enjoy. It is outrageous that such situation should still happen in the 21st century so a new approach generally and not only in the world or Arts, is still needed.”

Asphodèle de Jeanne de Petricon

When this interview took place Bellotti was putting the finishing touches to a talk at the Complutense University, Madrid urging for real equality and a new interpretation of the history of contemporary art.

“The world of Arts may appear to be more progressive and open-minded but the truth is that we continue to suffer the same pains of gender inequality. On the whole, women are still relegated to a secondary role in terms of financial capability. We earn less and therefore our opinion is underappreciated. That is our sad reality.” The daughter of a father from Algeciras and a Gibraltarian mother…”

Bellotti spent her childhood travelling throughout Europe and admits having enjoyed a somehow privileged childhood and youth. But a harsher reality hit her when she had to make it on her own.

Asphodèle de Jeanne de Petricon

Awards of this kind whose closing ceremony took place at La Bonne in Barcelona, “women in visual arts 2018” is testimony to an admirable career and serves to spur her on to greater things.

“It is pleasant to realise that hard work has its rewards and is not ignored” Bellotti adds. “Professional female artists are turning into genuine guerrillawarriors”, she concludes. “It is the only course of action when even the words we use are still so unbelievably sexist… it is an awesome experience”

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