Commercial art for good cause: Is this politically effective?

Posted: April 18, 2014 in Notes
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I was reading the  article ‘What the World Needs Now’ in which 22 artists answer questions on political art.

In the question:  Can you give an example of a piece of art you think is politically effective?  

one of the interviewed artists, Wolfgang Tillmans responds:

 ”Any piece of art whose sale generates a lot of money for a cause or campaign.”

So, is a Jeff Koon’s piece  that is sold in an auction for millions an effective political art work?

What about a  Beyonce or Lady Gaga show that raises money for a philanthropist purpose? Would that be politically effective?

There are numerous examples where  commercial art and popular artworks are used in order to raise money for a good cause or for a campaign. However there are more reasons for these actions than their will to help.

Artists in the commercial art world are not only selling their art works but they usually create a character that they can sell too. Through these shows they aim to appear more philanthropists and socially engaged. The primary purpose of these shows or art works  is not to be politically effective but to promote the artists and indirectly increase their profit.

By that I don’t mean to underestimate the value of campaigns or philanthropist shows but I think it is necessary to be aware of what is truly politically effective and what appears to be.



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