Skip to main site content.
Performance artist Marina Abramovic in Sao Paulo, Brazil on April 8, 2015. (NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

"Totally free"

Marina Abramovic had 3 abortions because children would have been “a disaster for my work”

By WITW Staff on July 27, 2016

Performance artist Marina Abramovi? claims children hold women back in the art world, revealing in an interview with German newspaper Tagesspiegel that she had three abortions for exactly this reason. “I was certain that it would be a disaster for my work,” she said in the interview, published on Monday. “One only has limited energy in the body, and I would have had to divide it. In my opinion that’s the reason why women aren’t as successful as men in the art world. There’s plenty of talented women. Why do men take over the important positions? It’s simple. Love, family, children – a woman doesn’t want to sacrifice all of that.”

The 69-year-old artist’s career spans more than four decades, and includes iconic pieces such as “The Artist Is Present (2010)”, where she invited people to sit across from her at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, while she stared them in the eyes.

In the same interview, she claimed not having a husband or family has allowed her to be “totally free” in her work, which forces her to be on the road constantly. “I am the artwork. I can’t send a painting, so I send myself … In the last year I didn’t spend more than 20 days in New York. At airports I had to think ‘where is my suitcase arriving from?’” she said.

Read the full story at The Guardian.


Marina Abramovic and the art of female sacrifice

Art and activism: The compass points of Elizabeth Sackler’s storied career

Where women rule the art world