Art And Politics Essay, Research Paper
This essay explores the question do art and politics mix? According to Brett whitely, Art and politics don t happily mix , which implies that art in more readily accepted when it conveys images of beauty, rather than a typical political agenda which makes up much of modern art. This statement stems from Brett whitely s disappointment with the negative response received for his American Dream .
This large-scale painting was about the fall of American society, especially the way the country was being torn apart by the Vietnam War. He had hoped to influence social change, by the way of his art, which he hoped would be powerful enough to raise public consciousness.
This example demonstrates that it isn t really enough for the artist to have great intentions, but that it depends on the openness of the audience to receive the message and this way art becomes a two-way dialog.
Art in it s truest form is a reflection of the society we live in, if looking at the styles of art through different era s and economic crisis it becomes evident of how much society affects their art works. A good example of this is during world war s I and II. The artwork all entails the desire for freedom, the injustice in the world and the grief caused by death and destruction.
As politics are related to social issues, it s obvious that art and politics will overlap. Necessities such as funding for arts centers and galleries are required by the government and if the government does not approve the artwork it simply won t get the money it deserves. Even such simple things as art supplies to schools have to be approved by the government, again for the funding.
Art is very much a target of social critique, the general public may not understand that art is a personal feeling, a way of releasing yourself it is not something that somebody can tell you what s wrong with it and how to change it as it would not be fulfilling for the artist. Although art plays a major role in society it has to be accepted for what it is, not what it could be.
There are major themes that stand out amongst the variety of artwork produced, these are:
- Social injustice
- Environmental issues
All of these themes are related to political issues and again shows that art work is mainly a reflection on society, which in a sense shows that art and politics do mix but to a very small extent.
I have chosen three artworks, which I believe conveys distinct political meaning. The first of these is Imant Tillers mute . This picture portrays the injustice of political and social issues in society around the same time as the war. This piece gives off a instant feeling of depression and sadness, which is what the artist is after. The neck of this person has been mutilated giving the impression of pain and suffering with no opportunity to speak out and take a stand for what is rightfully theirs.
The second of my pieces is George Gittoes s series about victims of war. These art works are especially disturbing knowing the fact that they were most probably portrait of what was happening at the present moment. The pictures show a lot of grief and he inparticuly uses the faces of the people to show the feelings and get the message across through somebody else s eyes and not just what he sees. These pictures show a lot of death and leaves a sickening feeling in the viewers stomach and raises the anger to the point that you feel guilty that the world was so corrupt at a certain era of time. This piece makes you think about just how lucky you really are compared to others in the world going through similar crisis such as war.
The last piece I am doing is Ruth Waller s Endangered Powerscape . This piece is about environmental issues and shows a hand, which from my opinion represents the environment and has gaping holes in it where human kind has developed and destroyed areas of our world. The hand is not represented as a human hand but more of a monstrous like claw, showing anger and resentment to society for damage occurred. The picture gets a message across in quite a distinct way and looks as if it is reaching out for survival, for help.
In conclusion to this essay I have come to the opinion that art relays on politics to display its meanings and intentions but does not necessarily mix with politics. The politics tend not to see that art is a profession with only a small handful of the population who have the ability to foresee images such as those listed above and also to have the ability to put their images on paper in such a realistic and powerful manner.