Friday, March 28, 2014

The Artist's Role In Society - Thaer Maarouf

Out of a group of five Syrian artist to be showing at an art opening in London, Thaer Maarouf stood out the most to me. He is not as young as some of the other artists, but his work speaks for their generation as well as his own. What makes Thaer’s notable is his ability to define human rights in the form of art in a country stricken with so much civil unrest like Syria. With that being said, I believe his role in society is to convey hope and raise awareness of injustice through his art.

1 comment:

  1. Jennifer Hart's Film Review of: The Art of the Steal

    Born in Philadelphia and making money to pay for college as a box worker, Albert C. Barnes was a firm believer that Art should be kept priceless. After making his money from inventing a vaccine to prevent venereal disease, Barnes traveled to Paris to study modern art and notable artists like Matisse and Picasso. During this time in history these monumental artists were very much undervalued by the American Art culture. When Barnes finally exhibited his post impressionistic art collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, he was laughed at for collecting such distasteful and ironic pieces. That experience just proved that Barnes was ahead of his time both culturally and intelligently. When the film described how he arranged his collection within his home, I was pleasantly surprised that he did not arrange the pieces chronologically or systematically. Instead I loved that he arranged his pieces in way that they could speak to one another. He kept this way of showcasing all of his collected masterpieces even when they were used for educational purposes in school. I’m so glad he made it a definite rule in his last will and testament, that the collection be used to educate only, not sell or lend to any other institution. Some might argue that his specific conditions noted in his will were exclusionary and his magnificent collection should be assessable to the entire public in a public museum. I think it was a great that Barnes made his collections only available to the students in his school. By incorporating the instruction of the world’s greatest philosophers and artists such as: Einstein, Matisse and Dewey into his school curriculum, he was giving his students the ultimate education. After his death in 1951 it was nice to see that his partner in the Barnes Foundation of Art, Violette De Mazia continued his efforts to keep his collection within the school and not in a museum. I think she was one of the last owners that truly knew how Barnes’s collection should be handled and exhibited. In the second half of the film, things start to get muddy in the sense that Barnes’s wishes became obsolete and his collection starts to become an issue of profit. The fact that Barnes stated in his will that he will give his collection to Penn State (a small African American college) and not the University of Philadelphia was pretty awesome. From then on his collection is passed from place to place but only because it is worth so much money. This film supported my belief that pieces of artwork today are souly valued for their worth in dollars depending on the artist who created them. Art should be valued for its ability to evoke emotions, memories, and meaning for its viewers.