Grace Wakeling ’21
With society drastically shifting to a technologically dependent environment, art has followed suit. Many people have been desensitized to political messages since there is rarely something to be seen that has not been seen before. In this scary world that lacks variety and newness, artists step into the limelight by allowing their views to be exposed through a different lens.
As Tim Adams mentions in his article published by The Guardian about art as protest, in a country where “anything goes” creating art that truly stands as protest is all the more difficult. When freedom of speech exists, there is not much that hasn’t already been said and there is not much that will truly surprise anyone. This has resulted in more radical and outlandish creators coming to attention such as Banksy and Ai Wei Wei. Banksy is often looked down upon for the level of seeming simplicity in his artwork, however, he deserves applause for the fact that he was able to create a conversation with his art even despite its obscurity. Another example is Victoria Miro’s gallery in London that is a selection of new and old artworks that confront issues of migration, censorship, Black Lives Matter, and more as Adams states.
While activism within the art world is important, it is also necessary to take into account the fact that not many artists feel comfortable being seen through a strictly political lens. Speaking about one’s views, especially radical ones, is dangerous and should be regarded as a task of bravery.
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