The Highest Paid Artwork By A Woman Is Still Far From The Male Counterpart


Jenny Saville has just set a record for becoming the most expensive living female artist. Her painting, Propped (1992) was recently sold at auction for $12.4 million. Propped explores the female form through the female gaze, much like other works Saville has done. While this is monumental, it does not change the gender bias in the art world. The current record for living male artist is Jeff Koons’ Balloon Dog (Orange) which sold for $58 million. While female artists are being appreciated more, these extreme differences prove that women artists are still not valued as highly as their male counterparts.

For Further Reading

A 2016 study found that women in art make on average around $20,000 less than male artists.

Discussion Question

With there being around a $40 million difference between the world’s highest paid female and male artists, what does this say about the art world and the gender pay gap?

Action Item:

The gender pay gap is not only an issue in the creative fields, but rather in all careers. Ask a woman that you are close to if they have experienced unequal pay in their workplace.

Read more on| Image: Jenny Saville, Propped, 1992. COURTESY SOTHEBY’S