The State, Religion and the People's Art
© 2011 Patricia McGurk Martin Hearst Himmler
Is It Art in the Devil's Playground?
Statue "Mother Georgia"
Christ of the Andes
Soviet Monolith Art including Huge Statues of V.I. Lenin
The Berlin Wall
The Great Wall of China
This type art expresses the people's emotions, and dwarfs them at the same time. It ultimately ends up as art from the State, and is historically toppled by the people themselves in unpopular regimes when they surge forward in emotional revolutions, expressing anger.
We saw this on TV with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the people crushing statues of V.I. Lenin during the period that preceded the collapse of the former Soviet Union last century.
The Superbowls were (and I am sure they still are, but I haven't watched much television in the past year) an extremely popular expression of Athletes sponsored through the Commercial State in vastly popular football games that often ended in expressions of social unrest, even violence at times.
Religious art in the U.S. includes the huge "Touchdown Jesus" statue of Christ carrying a football, popular for the same reasons. It cracked in half last year and collapsed to the ground, although I am not sure why. Was it God or a flaw in the statue?
American men and women enjoyed watching televised sports and halftime activities on Sunday afternoons and evenings, often a religious day for Christian Americans. TV Sundays were the norm in the United States until recently and the viewers were almost religious participants as they looked forward to releasing their emotions during football games by shouting.
Sports were American Art Images televised weekly, Sports for the People in color and vivid art images of athletes provided a clear view of the American Man emboldened by the successful and superior athletes who represent him to the world.
The popularity of all art and sports events described above lies in the viewer's eyes who is hoping, really expecting to be empowered through the people's expressions in front of him or her on the screen or in person in art experiences such as public park art. The huge art failed as it dwarfed the Russian and other formerly "Soviet" onlookers as he or she passed by the huge busts or statues representing the State. They were not empowered, and they rose to topple or knock down the art that made them feel insecure or insignificant.
History teaches us lessons about art every day, including the tv shows that both succeed and fail in our popular culture as they really are commercial art on the media called television. These popular shows often reveal American history through language used, tastes, themes and clothing or fashion styles.