Sunday, February 8, 2009

Political Art

Since it's creation, photography has been used in many forms. It has been a part of research, documentation, aesthetic appeal, family records, social study, and political statements.

Some images go beyond simple composition and technical accuracy - these images demand attention or expect a reaction from the viewer.
This form of expression can make some viewers uncomfortable, while others are inspired to see ideals or social views visually interpreted in such a way. So how do we, as individuals, interpret political art?

Many are influenced by our backgrounds, experiences and education. And still others react instinctively - forming an opinion and turning away. Other times, a viewer can misinterpret the message between photographer/artist and viewer.

How do you interpret Gloria Steinem's statement:

"The first problem for all of us - men and women - is not to learn but to unlearn"?

How is this statement viewed with the visual image of two Barbie dolls next to it? Do you have preconceived ideas about Gloria Steinem's feminist views and principles? All of these factors are taken in and evaluated when looking at this piece of political art.

Since I am the creator of this image I will tell you what my thoughts are and how I interpreted her statement..........

I believe the disproportion figure of the Barbie doll is an unrealistic image that is popular with young girls. This unrealistic view can be learned at a very young age, by the girls that play with this "toy", the boys that see this "toys" popularity, and the parents that encourage it by buying this "toy". As adults we continue to carry with us these impossible ideals about body figures - always dissatisfied with ourselves and trying to fit into this unachievable mold. This is because we can never attain this preconceived ideal of the perfect Barbie Doll Toy. This belief needs to be "unlearned" - but why do we need to "learn" this in the first place?

In a statement from artist and photographer Richard Rothstein he writes - " In a world where corporations, governments and organized religions spend trillions of dollars to control our perceptions and define our political, social and moral behavior, how can art not be seen as the most profound and liberating political statement of all?"

What would be your political statement?

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