Reality in Art & Design

One of the most famous work of Jackson Pollock is Convergence, which was painted in 1952 (oil on canvas). He’s one of the leading figure in the American expressionist art movement. The painting embodied the American ideals of freedom of speech and expression.

Jackson Pollock - Convergence, 1952

Jackson Pollock – Convergence, 1952 – date 13/11/2014

In the same year, below screenprint and watercolour painting was created by Ben Shahn (Lithuanian American). Not many people knew about this painting at the time. It represents the lives of industrial workers, farmers and families. He used his work as a voice against injustice.

ben shahn tripple dip

Ben Shahn – Tripple Dip, 1952 – date 13/11/2014

There was tension between the US and the Soviet Union. The western believe that the spread of communism anywhere threatened democracy and capitalism everywhere. Therefore, communism needed to be contained by diplomacy, by threats and even by force. Unbeknownst to the artists, American Expressionism movement was funded by the CIA (used as propaganda tool vs Soviet oppression). The CIA appreciated his style because it does not express social realism and communicate political gesture. Meanwhile there was a rising in civil rights movement spoke out against inequality and injustice (African Americans and feminist).

In my opinion, the art is still very much influenced by who have the power to control (i.e. money, politics or religion). What I think is best to do is to keep my perception open and always see things from different perspectives so that the art will not be bias.


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