17 November 2004

Art is Expression Mixed With Color

I see artwork as a reflection of the issues that a society faces. The ethics and values of artwork are seen throughout history and is editorial of the events of the time. There is more to art than aesthetics. If you look at the simplicity of cave art, it shows the rudiments of their reality.

If art was not indicitive of such things, why has history shown otherwise? In the Soviet Union and in Nazi Germany, art was banned or destroyed and artists imprisoned or killed. Even the United States has a history of banning art. Whether it was the literature of Henry Miller or Mark Twain or the art deco movement that was frowned upon because of Soviet adoption of the style. It happened here and could happen again.

Modern art has left the concept phase and moved into the phase of raw ideas actualized. However, just as our society is degenerating, so is the artwork, reflective of the disposable mindset now ingrained in the American psyche.

I do not believe that art, in its traditional sense, is antagonistic to society, rather done as an effect because of it. My sentiments end there, though, when it comes to cinematic expression. The power of film is moving because it can play and pull on a whole range of emotions and manipulate the viewer into a desired mood. Leni Riefenstahl understood this when she filmed what is considered the best propoganda film ever made (Triumph of the Will). Similar to how John Kennedy understood the medium of television in his debates against Richard Nixon.

The argument throughout time of whether art reflects society or society reflect art is one of a Catch 22. Ultimately the side of the argument is determeined by the artwork and the agenda of the person viewing it. When someone makes the argument that art should be banned, question the motives of the person recommending such a course of action. Question anyone who would try and anyone who would consider it.

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