Neda, Protest, and Pop Art

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Through all the coverage of the protests taking place in Iran, the impression of power and horror implicit in the clash of the masses versus the elite has had a profound impact on all watchers.

The use of the internet and mobile phones to keep the protests moving had been the bane of Iranian authorities and inspiration for supporters of justice all over the world.

Naturally, my fixation is for the visual, and the imagery coming from these events has been very powerful. There has yet to be a single image that encapsulates the feel of the movement such as the man confronting a tank at Tienamen Square, but the proliferation of imagery, particularly video and web imagery has been impressive.

On of the most prominent sights so far has been footage of a woman called Neda. The world has witnesses her passing, shot through the heart by a carefully-aimed government bullet. For many, it put an individual face on a distant movement for freedom.

Almost as soon as it took place, the internet was reacting. In art terms, one of the cleverest things to come out of it was the custom avatars. This pop art has astounding immediacy which is not only an indictment of Iranian authorities but a call to a wider audience. Including people who had previously been sitting on the sidelines and complete outsiders who now feel they can show their support.

Although I have been impressed with the media coverage, one thing bothers me. Some very graphic images have been aired of these protests and violence in Iran, but images of carnage that might make the U.S. or an ally of the U.S. look bad are chronically censored.

The recent Israeli-Palestinian conflict was reported on in pro-Western media with virtually no blood. The Iraqi and Afghanistan wars have also been presented bloodlessly. Such sanitization of war does no service to the U.S. If the citizenry new the real horror of war, they would not let it happen so idly.

[I apologize for the lack of accompanying images. I can't upload any right now, so I'll have to edit this article at a later date.]

Alas, no picture

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

This week there shall be no picture :(

There's internet problems and pc issues up the whazoo. I'd like all these things to work reliably, but that probably won't happen for a hundred years. So I guess, I'll enjoy the excuse to slack off writing my blog this week?

I do fear me

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I may have been overly optimistic about hwo often I'll be able to do my Freud posts - my nephews and niece are visiting for the summer (there are some family issues.) Anyway, I'll do what I can. I think once I get them into a routine I can get back to my normal posting next week or the week after.

For the time being, a picture. My giant insect army is slowly growing ^^

Brushing up on Freud

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I've been something of a fan of Lucian Freud for years now. Recently, I've been getting to know him better, and it has inspired me to some some blog posts about him on a monthly or biweekly basis this summer.

But first, I'd like to bring you all up to speed about Freud if you haven't heard of him before.

Freud is the grandson of you-know-who and almost certainly Britain's greatest living painter. I would say there's a good chance he's Europe's greatest, too.

You could say he is a realist, but then again he's not. Fact is, categories don't fit Freud very well, but you could almost say he is a commentator on realism. He doesn't strictly paint from reality, but the way he presents and composes paintings offers us a way to be more aware of reality and the artist's role in shaping it.

In the upcoming season, I'll take you with me as I explore this and other acpects of Freud's work. I hope you enjoy it and learn something new.

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