This is Artistic Brutality

This is Artistic Brutality

It’s worth pointing out after my small semi-rant a couple of posts back that The Nation is running a special issue which features an appropriated cover from a once-famous WWII poster by Ben Shahn. Of course, his version was meant to rally the boys into fighting Hitler’s fascism. Today’s version represents an indelible stain on U.S. history.

Back in the day, the artist was known for his own visual contributions to the “unconventional” magazine. I guess it’s nice to know (well, not so much nice as it is somewhat artistically affirming) that his work is still inspiring and finding relevance in today’s world long after his death.

It would be nice (as in good for humanity, however understated that may be), if the power of such imagery were not such a real commodity so easily suited for reuse. I haven’t visited an art school in quite some time, but I can effortlessly imagine the ease with which many first year drawing, painting, and sculpture students are depicting some variation of the black hooded man to rave reviews.