Left-wing art?

Accusing all modern art of being left-wing probably doesn’t get us very far. What might be more useful is to ask whether there is a dominant consensus when it comes to political attitudes in modern art today.
Full article here

Thanks to Paul for telling me about this article.
The issue is somewhat close to my heart as ALL ART HERE IN CHILE is in the hand of Left wingers. When I say Left wingers I mean Socialists (and some Communists) more than anything else. The reason for this is simple. Right wingers in Chile supported Pinochet’s regime. And Pinochet was against art of course (theatre, music – which during this time was called “the new song” and spoke of social equality… ever heard of Victor Jara?). During the regime the left wingers were the ones to break curfew and hold clandestine meetings and make clandestine art. And that tradition pretty much continues till now…

So… is this the best way to make art? To let art be in the hand of just one segment of society? I’d have to ponder that one. The thing is I am sooo used to seeing the Left wingers have all the artistic ideas that I cannot envision the Chilean right making art.

I’m also left-wing in case you’re wondering, but I’m stuck somewhere at the “gates” of the left-wing if you know what I mean. Not in the left-wing forest. =)

Note. When I refer to Right vs. Left I really don’t mean conservatives vs. liberals as in Republicans vs. Democrats because the way we Latinos see it, Democrats and Republicans in the US are pretty much two sides of the same “conservative” coin, which is just the US being the US and making politics. In Chile there is a huge gap between the left and right.

2 Responses

  1. I confess to being somewhat of an American right-winger. I also love contemporary art. But I am a minority. I would agree that worldwide, artists, poets, and other “freethinkers” are by definition liberal and dedicated to overthrowing social constraints. Only those who work for THE MAN (like many of the artisans who filled the Vatican) end up making much art that supports the status quo. But I don’t think I would want to live a life like Frida Kahlo, where she did not just cross previous aesthetic boundaries, but moral ones as well. So many artists seem to be tortured with the constraints of living with other humans in a society (Jackson Pollock, Dali, well the list is actually endless), that they live miserable lives it seems. AND YET on the other hand, many artists seem to be the only ones living life to the fullest, grasping at every bit of it they can grab. Trying to be real. Thinking for themselves and accepting nothing conventional.
    If art, in all its forms, is a mirror, then yes, I would agree that it shouldn’t be skewed one way or the other, but it should reflect a vast tapestry of the human experience. It is sad that in totalitarian regimes like North Korea, they say that in shop after shop, all of the paintings are in the same style—a placid landscape that has been drawn the same way a million times over.
    My favorite art is when children draw. They don’t really censor themselves too much—they just take a stab at creating something, unselfconsciously. Some of it will still be kind of boring or drab. But most of it is vibrant, because they really pour their hearts out when they draw (or sing, etc.)

  2. Yes I agree with everything you’ve said. =)

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