ABSTRACT PROPAGANDA

1 Mar

ArtPractice

I was recently reminded by this post at Open Culture that Abstract Expressionist painting and exponents of it such as Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock got a big (though covert) push from the CIA, who secretly organised a number of influential exhibitions including MoMA’s New American Painting. It was all an attempt to depict America internationally as a country with a sophisticated culture borne of a fully functioning democracy.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha… oh… ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Wait, wait… ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Sorry about that. Most Americans hated Abstract Expressionism, and they still do. Not to mention the fact that US foreign and domestic policies in the 1960s moved on to brainwashing, drugging, sabotaging and sometimes just straight up murdering (or having murdered) anyone who stood in the way of their global agenda. But it’s interesting to think about this CIA plot to splatterwash the USA’s international reputation as a project halfway between the naked colonialism of international World Fairs or the Giardini in Venice and the modern era of so-called “soft power” that makes governments like the UK’s or Japan’s trumpet their national cultural industries even while they perversely take an ideological wrecking ball to the very institutions, employment and educational systems that make art and being an artist viable. What, you thought it was because they recognised the value of art and artists?

Ha ha ha ha ha ha, etc.

It’s all about the soft power.

You may also like to speculate as to other examples of otherwise inexplicably successful artists or artistic movements that seem with hindsight more likely to be psy ops or vehicles for international spookery.

NeoRealism

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3 Responses to “ABSTRACT PROPAGANDA”

  1. anitachowdry 01/03/2016 at 4:20 PM #

    Brings to minds the sly little dig at Andy Wahol and the Factory in Men In Black III.

    • Alistair 01/03/2016 at 4:25 PM #

      Warhol was so amoral and had such access to the rich and famous that I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he was a CIA asset.

  2. Alistair 18/04/2016 at 4:05 PM #

    Reblogged this on Alistair Gentry.

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