Propaganda Art: Can a Political Tool Be Art?

With the advent of the First World War, the world witnessed the emergence of a previously unseen form of art — propaganda art. In those grim times, the role of an artist was drastically changed, as art became the tool of war itself. Putting aside all the social and economic factors, can such a notorious form of artistic expression be considered art? Let’s try to answer this question.

Forms and aims of propaganda art

Propaganda art has many faces. By far, the most noticeable and popular example is political posters — the vestiges of war art — meant to instill particular ideas and values into the public. During the war, they were used to create an overwhelmingly antagonistic image of the enemy as an absolute evil.

Propaganda art is art, but in name only

We shouldn’t consider propaganda art as a thing of the long-forgotten past — it is here and now. Thanks to modern technologies, it became digitalized, so you ought to be very cautious not to take the bait when you see a picture on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. In view of the above, can we call propaganda art real art? Yes, we probably can. Though it is evil-natured, dubious, and fairly controversial, it is art. At the end of the day, it’s not the capricious nature of art but people, artists in particular, who bring it to existence.

Online magazine about art, culture, antiques, jewelry, high-end watches, cutting-edge cars, yachts, and everything related to luxury lifestyle.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store