“Art changes people and people change the world” - John Butler
Art changed my world because it shaped me into who I am today. I was obsessed with art when I was little, I had about forty picture books about different artists and the pieces they made. My mom would read them to me and then we would go to the museum and see the artists work in real life. I fell in love with Van Gogh, I knew all of his pieces and even had large posters of them in my room. I must have been about 7 or 8 and all my other friends watched tv and knew characters names but I, I knew art.
I have no doubt in my mind that art can do incredible things. It can evoke hatred, spark romance, or unite people.
I think that art is very important especially now where they world seems to be on the brink of WWIII. Activist art by artists like Banksy make a point and get people thinking. A favorite Banksy piece of mine is the image below in which the letter “F” in life, from the statement “enjoy your life” has been crossed out so instead the street art reads “enjoy your lie.” I find this piece incredibly relevant to today as we are witnessing the rise of social media. It seems that people's lives are solely the lies that they post to keep up the facades of they life they portray. What we see is not always how they (the person who posted) see or feel. So much is fake, from conversations to smiles. As time passes people seem to loose their genuineness and I believe that this is a modern social issue. How can I be expected to get to know a person or fall in love with somebody when the only thing I get to be around is that individual with their mask on and walls up? It’s the only way to keep the lie alive which eventually morphs into life.
Really, if art draws attention and makes people think, that is the important part. Thinking and talking about subjects are how we propel them into a stronger light. In Hong Kong, the Umbrella Movement has been largely impacted by art. Photography has captured the realism and fleeting moments during the protests. I am biased towards photography because it is my strongest artistic suit so I found some of the photos to be phenomenal.
I really enjoyed Raymond Kam staged picture, “Umbrella Revolution (shown above).” He used actors to represent the major groups of people involved and their individual stances such as the “westerner” on the right hand side of the image who is casually watching it all happen but clearly it has little to no affect on his daily life. Kam was able to capture something that a photojournalist or other photography wouldn’t be able to capture because you don’t see the westerners or the natives in or around the protesters. In this manner, it could also been seen as a satirical piece that criticized those who aren’t involved or who are active bystanders.
Some people make art because they love to, others make art to change the world.