Read full document

Political Art Essay

Page 1 of 4
The cultural frame considers social issues such as politics, economics and environmental concerns. Meaning in cultural artworks is understood from a social perspective and may relate to such issues as race, cultural identity, multiculturalism, gender, beliefs and values. Artists usually reflect the issues in society may they be social, political, racial, environmental or sexual. Specific movements and styles have been produced as a result. There is a greater integration between art and community as art adopts a critical role in society. Traditional artists use to focus on the material practice, but postmodernism changed that as they focused on the concept and ideas. It is the idea that has come to dominate the form of much art and this has generated a pluralist where there are many approaches reflecting different issues. In a sense, all works of art perform a social function, since they are created for an audience. Artists who embrace their role as a social commentator are Francisco Goya, Pablo Picasso, Otto Dix and Gordon Bennett.

Francisco Goya (1746 – 1828) sets the scene commenting on the atrocities of man. Both of his works, Disasters of War (1863) and 3rd of May 1808 (1814) show graphically the horrors of mutilation, torture and death in war. He reflects the inhumanity that was occurring during the Spanish Revolution where innocent civilians were killed. Art during this time usually depicted soldiers as heroes and believed to be fighting for a good cause. Goya was one of the first artists to portray the true horrors of war. He became deaf halfway through his lifetime, which increased his understanding of emotions and expressions and his reliance of his other senses. Relying on documentaries and second hand accounts of war, Goya developed artworks of scenes of the Spanish revolution. He was unable to release his artworks until 8 years after the war, due to the fear of being executed, the fear that was created because of war. 3rd of May is a painting...