A note on art & social responsibility
By Skip Schiel
June 6, 1968, revised December 12, 2004
© All text copyright Skip Schiel, 2004 and earlier
1. The study of visual elements seems irrelevant when considered in the broader context of society.
2. But it is one of many steps toward mastery of an art form.
3. And that form will be or could then be enlisted in the cause of social analysis and advocacy, if desired.
4. The artist--thus the work--must be of deep social knowledge.
5. We must trust to the natural connection between a person’s thought and feeling and the expression. This expression is reflexive of the maker’s mind.
Sontag: Great art advocates nothing.
Brecht: The value of art should be measured by its social utility.
Merton (paraphrasing): Artist! Beware being useful!
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