Lesson 3: Subverting Gender Imagery


Artists can use well-known imagery to comment on our beliefs about gender


The student will be excited about the possibility of appropriating imagery to critique said imagery. The student will understand how artists such as Barbara Krueger and the Guerilla Girls, recontextualize imagery from art and popular media to critique the effects of the original imagery on our culture. The student will follow along with the demonstration of photo editing software and understand how it is used to change visual imagery. The student will begin editing their selected imagery to create their digital collage.


Students will be given advertisements and be asked to write down adjectives for the models/products displayed within.

Cultural References:

Barbara Krueger is a american conceptual artist whose art, photographs overlayed with texual declarative statments, critque messages about women presented by the American media as well as social constructs of power, sexuality and identity. Guerilla Girls are a feminist activist group dedicated to fighting sexism in the art world. Doning gorilla masks the group produces protest art using symbolism and visuals from popular art to to point out the inequities that exist in art historical and contemporary sites of culture.

Instructional Input:

Students will look at the art historical precedent of appropriating imagery for art that critiques visual culture. Looking at the works of Barbara Krueger, and Guerilla Girls. Students will discuss the idea of appropriating imagery and re-contextualizing (placing the image in a different setting) the original imagery allowing for a different meaning in a way that comments on the original meaning, perhaps making it more relevant or in a more current context. Students will also consider the use of text within Krueger’s and Guerilla Girls’ images.


Instructor will demo the use Adobe Photoshop. Students will learn how to open images, cut, paste and modify selections within the application.

Art Activity:

Students will begin their work, scanning and selecting imagery for use in their digital collage. Throughout the activtity instructor should be conversing with students and addressing any questions (conceptually or technologically) they may have.


Students will be assessed by participation within discussion on the artists presented. Process and artistic objectives will be assessed by the student’s ability to use the tools taught affectively within their digital collage.

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