Art is a vehicle for social change, because art influences society and society influences art. The lexical expression of an artist’s affect, can arouse the individual to follow-through with the action inspired by the artwork. In layman's terms an artist creates from a communicable mood, that reinforces the emotional experience that their work will have on each individual. The artist has two goals; to share their message and cultivate advocacy. The artist can be inspired by many things and fortunately for all creatives society is an unlimited resource of worthy subject matter.
Art has a beautiful way of raising awareness about critical issues in society, like slowly lifting the veil on an ugly bride. Not only should artwork be captivating, but it also must deeply expose us to the social and political contradictions of our time. Today people around the world are screaming out Black Lives Matter, and this international activist movement is taking society by storm. This movement was directly inspired by social injustice. So it isn't difficult to believe that art is indeed a vehicle for social change. Here are a few examples of artist reacting to social injustice.
TALE OF TWO HOODIES
30″ x 40″ | oil on canvas
This painting was a reaction to the shooting of Trayvon Martin on February 26, 2012. The shooter, George Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder, and unfortunately justified his actions with the Stand Your Ground statute. He was found not guilty. This shooting influenced the revolutionary Black Lives Matter movement.
IT STOPS WITH COPS
44″ x 88″ | oil on canvas
By Michael D' Antuono
African Americans face a higher risk of arrest-related death. Also arrest-related deaths by homicide are likely to be committed by law enforcement personnel versus other jail inmates.
54″ x 32″ | oil on canvas
By Michael D'Antuono
The number of unarmed black men and women being shot and killed by police is alarming. The real question is what do you tell your sons, when their blackness is the target for police brutality?