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“… I considered any art pointless if it did not put itself at the disposal of political struggle… my art was to be a gun and a sword”, George Grosz. Grosz was a famous German artist, most known for his caricatural drawings and paintings of his Berlin life in the early 20th century. Grosz is often characterized as a social realist that depicts ordinary people’s everyday life in his work; commenting on the political and social struggles that he has seen and experienced in the beginning of the 20th century.
According to Oxford Dictionary, art can be defined as: “the expression or application of human creative skills and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power”.
Art can been seen in various of different forms such as, paintings, literature, music and others. Through art one expresses his/her views regarding his/her surroundings, based on the individual’s experiences in the society.
The expression of art reflects the idea of freedom of speech in the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. Through art one exposes his/her views on various of different social and political topics. Many activists choose art to be their act of advocacy towards their political and social viewpoints and struggles. However, questions regarding if art is effectively and successfully protected by the First Amendment keep being raised; challenging the right of freedom of speech, the constitution and democracy in the art sector.
Art is found everywhere. Everything in the public domain is art; architecture, media, entertainment, industrial designs, everything has been created from an individual with an artistic vision. Except from the fact that art can be found in the world around us, art also strengthens social relationships as well as identity. A study conducted by the British Arts Council in 2012, found that an individual that practices art, or is taking part in the arts improve their collective confidence and awareness. The result of this study is better explained through Van Jone’s graph of how society is constructed. The evolution of the human brain was created based on social relationships, meaning that in order for humanity to progress and evolve each individual has to strengthen and expand their social development.
A great away to achieve this, is by exercising arts to open discussion, empathy and understanding. Thus, Van Jone’s graph depicts that artists consolidate a unique place to deliver and communicate complex ideas to the public masses, as a result to inspire individuals to advocate and take action. Interaction, action and public communication play a big role in the way that a democratic government functions from the time that a government is created by the public domain. Freedom of expression is a big part of democracy and the social construct of freedom. However, it also challenges democracy since it conveys the argument of what is the limit and the extent of how much freedom of expression is actually considered freedom for the greater mass.
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