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Art and Politics

Art and Politics have gone hand in hand since the first cave paintings had been drawn on cave walls. As the cavemen may have found out through other fellow cave wall artists as well as their respective audiences, art is not just restricted to those who fancy themselves as artists. The fact that artwork – regardless of intent and purpose – may be viewed in various manner is enough to permit even the most amateur of artists into creating an artwork that someone somewhere may really like.

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Hence the conclusion that art or visual aesthetics, more particularly in this case, is subjective, giving truth to the adage “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Popularity, however, and the power it holds over the masses, has a commanding way of dictating which the consumers “should” support. This control is then used for further manipulation of consumer-affective decisions of which the powers that be profit from. This is why there tends to be a trend of “Art politics” that seemingly commands the taste of people, resulting in the belief that great art comes from the production of the elite.

One would be quick to dismiss Annie Leonard’s conclusion of American culture and practices affecting those of the cultures and practices of the southern hemisphere as ridiculous but there are certain points wherein there findings are seen to be true, most especially with the less than developed countries of which the United States of America hold key influential powers on consumption and culture. The other major players, on the other hand tend to have a rather stunted cultural and commercial development as the American trends continue to affect them.

This however does not just hold true to the southern hemisphere, as the United States of America’s influence holds strong in many other countries north of the equator. Poet James Oppenheim’s composition Bread and Roses, for example, portrays the struggle for the ideal (roses) and the real (bread), of which the countries under the influence of the United States suffer from. Rather than pursuing the development of their culture, they are left to prioritize self-preservation.