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Gender Issues

Zanele Muholi
Zazi , 2019
Gelatin silver print in frame
Artwork Size: 59.4 x 53.8 cm (23.4 x 21.1 in.)
Framing Size: 62.4 x 56.8 x 4 cm (24.6 x 22.5 x 1.6 in.)
Edition 4 of 8
Courtesy of the artist and Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong

Throughout time, artists have been interested in a myriad of subjects, amongst which the intricate complexities of individual identity formation and self-expression, encompassing considerations of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and other intertwined aspects. They actively challenge societal constructs, embrace diverse perspectives, and delve into the fluidity and intersections of identity. Gender issues encompass a wide range of topics that explore gender roles, expectations, identities, and inequalities. They address how gender influences individuals' experiences, opportunities, and relationships in society, giving rise to debates regarding gender stereotypes, gender-based violence, pay gaps, and discrimination.

In contemporary art, gender issues often intersect with feminist concerns, shedding light on the historical dominance of male artists and the marginalization of female artists. Artworks centered around these subjects aim to challenge gender biases and systemic barriers that impede the recognition, representation, and equitable treatment of women artists. Discussions revolve around advocating for gender equality, as well as reassessing and supporting overlooked female artists from the past.

The Guerrilla Girls, an anonymous feminist art collective, actively confront gender inequality and the lack of representation through provocative artwork, data-driven advocacy, guerrilla tactics, and an intersectional approach. Their actions disrupt the art world by highlighting the underrepresentation of women artists and catalyzing change. Their educational efforts and outreach empower others to challenge inequality and foster inclusivity.

In addition to feminist perspectives, artists have explored the experiences, socio-political struggles, and ideas associated with LGBTQ+ identities. Figures such as Nan Goldin, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Keith Haring, and David Wojnarowicz conveyed the tragedies and struggles of the AIDS crisis through their artwork. Many contemporary artists continue to contribute to discussions surrounding gender issues, such as South African photographer Zanele Muholi. Muholi’s focus lies on the representation and celebration of Black LGBTQ+ identities. Through powerful portraits and documentary photography, Muholi addresses the politics of race, gender, and sexuality.

Related categories


Racial and Ethnic Identity

Social Issues

Social Relations

Narrative Art

Self Taught Artist

Searching for Identity

Female Identity


Socio-political Issues

Freedom of Expression


Queer Identity

Women Artists

Women's Rights

Race Issues

Different Perspectives

Curated By

Personal/Social Identity