chapter  9
6 Pages

Negotiating Genres

ByVeronica Slater

When I first went to art college Gombrich’s Story of Art was central to the understanding of what ‘art’ and ‘artists’ were. This perception constructed an artist’s identity as elusive, ephemeral and almost sacred like the status of a saint. However, my actual experience of artists was far removed from Gombrich’s ‘shy’ characterization; they were for the most part large male egos with plenty to say. It was from this point on that I gradually recognized the package that built the myth of a genetic gendered ‘artist’. It became clear to me why I had such difficulty in calling myself an artist when it signified a history that seemed totally removed from my experience. Gombrich’s story had excluded women and as a student I reacted with a sort of androgynous approach to the creative process in an attempt to be taken seriously.