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For artist Micol Hebron, her latest project began by reading Artforum. In browsing the glossy pages of the magazine, she kept getting the feeling that male artists were disproportionately represented in the magazine's advertising. "People assumed that there was an inequity there, but no one had any data," she recalls. "So every time I got the physical magazine, I would count the ads -- the full-page ads for single artists -- since that tells you who the galleries are putting their weight behind." Month after month, she says, the count was roughly the same, "Usually, about 70 percent men." Though, sometimes it was worse. "There was one issue, recently, it was something like 82 percent male."
Late last year, after being invited to participate in an exhibition at West L.A. College, she decided to turn her informal tallies into a collaborative art project. Hebron put out a call to other artists to help her illustrate the male-to-female ratios at commercial galleries.