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  1. #1
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    Modern art was CIA 'weapon'

    Revealed: how the spy agency used unwitting artists such as Pollock and de Kooning in a cultural Cold War

    By Frances Stonor Saunders

    For decades in art circles it was either a rumour or a joke, but now it is confirmed as a fact. The Central Intelligence Agency used American modern art - including the works of such artists as Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko - as a weapon in the Cold War. In the manner of a Renaissance prince - except that it acted secretly - the CIA fostered and promoted American Abstract Expressionist painting around the world for more than 20 years.

    The connection is improbable. This was a period, in the 1950s and 1960s, when the great majority of Americans disliked or even despised modern art - President Truman summed up the popular view when he said: "If that's art, then I'm a Hottentot." As for the artists themselves, many were ex- com- munists barely acceptable in the America of the McCarthyite era, and certainly not the sort of people normally likely to receive US government backing.

    Why did the CIA support them? Because in the propaganda war with the Soviet Union, this new artistic movement could be held up as proof of the creativity, the intellectual freedom, and the cultural power of the US. Russian art, strapped into the communist ideological straitjacket, could not compete.

    Full article here: Modern art was CIA 'weapon' - World - News - The Independent
    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!"

  2. #2
    ENT
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    Which is why I thoroughly hate the phony rubbish, it destroyed art for a long time.
    Those daubers mentioned will in the end be so discredited and devalued that their junk will be regarded as no better than wall fillers.

  3. #3
    ENT
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    Having met and worked with Russian artists in the 1980s, I can say that some of their work was totally brilliant.
    None of it was party approved stuff, but just magnificent expressions of reality.

    Abstract art as has been pushed by the dealers is total crap.

    Dali pointed out that it takes about twenty five years for someone to develop sufficient skill to become a surrealist painter.

    He predicted the collapse of art in Europe, postulating Dada.
    Abstract art is simply that, meaning to abstract something fro it's context.

    The crap you see floating around posing as abstract art is simply puerile drama, with as little art in it as is possible.

    I meet kids in art colleges boasting about their abstract or surrealist work as though they knew what they were talking about.
    In fact, the human mind can not conceptualise full artistic abstraction without having actually lived through a multiplicity ofv experiences to compare them, then to be able to abstract a meaning from that.
    The same applies to surrealism.
    Although Dali embarked on his surrealist style early, the competent expression of such ideas takes a maturity of skill to express clearly., as can be seen if one studies his progress.

    Abstract expressionism my arse,.

    Most of it is just creative self expression and has nothing to do with art.
    Monkeys, elephants and kids are often as talented as abstract daubers.

  4. #4
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    Dali was certainly a talent of his own,

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    Quote Originally Posted by ENT View Post
    Which is why I thoroughly hate the phony rubbish, it destroyed art for a long time.
    Really ? So you knew that the CIA was financing that artwork ? Wow, fancy that.

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    ENT
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    Swilly the stalker strikes again.
    How're ya goin' mud flaps?

    Many artists knew that long ago and the collapse of the phony art market was predicted as far back as the late 1970s.

    Art as propaganda has been one of it's functions and all art is political, and I'm not talking about creative self expression, or narcissistic self promotion, that's all a totally different ball game for on one hand, pleasure and the other, false status.

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    So thats how we ended up with Damien Hirst.
    How nice that we can blame it on the Yanks.

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    ENT
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    It wasn't just the yanks.
    KGB and the Vatican were also involved in the scam.

    Very big money was and still is involved, as investment rose to a peak, falsely inflated by the large art deales rho would pad the price of a painting by investing half of the displayed sale value in the sale, so falsely doubling its real value, which encouraged renewed investment in ridiculously over-priced work of artists fostered by them, only.
    The best and purest art was smacked out of the market and had to be sold for a pittance by real artists.

    The art dealership game is the filthiest trade in the world, next to human trafficking and the arms trade.

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    yeh, well if the KGB wants to pay a fortune for my snap frozen turds, just PM.

  10. #10
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    Pollock, De Kooning, Kline, Motherwell were all giants and didn't need the help of the CIA. The New York gallery owners and critics were far more responsible for their success than the CIA.

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ENT View Post
    Having met and worked with Russian artists in the 1980s, I can say that some of their work was totally brilliant.
    None of it was party approved stuff, but just magnificent expressions of reality.

    Abstract art as has been pushed by the dealers is total crap.

    Dali pointed out that it takes about twenty five years for someone to develop sufficient skill to become a surrealist painter.

    He predicted the collapse of art in Europe, postulating Dada.
    Abstract art is simply that, meaning to abstract something fro it's context.

    The crap you see floating around posing as abstract art is simply puerile drama, with as little art in it as is possible.

    I meet kids in art colleges boasting about their abstract or surrealist work as though they knew what they were talking about.
    In fact, the human mind can not conceptualise full artistic abstraction without having actually lived through a multiplicity ofv experiences to compare them, then to be able to abstract a meaning from that.
    The same applies to surrealism.
    Although Dali embarked on his surrealist style early, the competent expression of such ideas takes a maturity of skill to express clearly., as can be seen if one studies his progress.

    Abstract expressionism my arse,.

    Most of it is just creative self expression and has nothing to do with art.
    Monkeys, elephants and kids are often as talented as abstract daubers.
    So we can add art history to the stunning list of things you know absolutely nothing about.

  13. #13
    ENT
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    Quote Originally Posted by Humbert View Post
    Pollock, De Kooning, Kline, Motherwell were all giants and didn't need the help of the CIA. The New York gallery owners and critics were far more responsible for their success than the CIA.
    Those galleries (owned and directed by very big fanciers, facilitated by governments,(CIA , KGB, Vatican, yes, it's a government it's own state with it's own laws and taxes) and critics (failed artists) conspired to manipulate the invested sales of all big name artists globally during this last century, especially since the 1950-60s.

    Some independent artists made the grade, but unless they stuck to their approved format they were dropped, everywhere.

    The art dealers presumed to own the artists' direction and choice of style, and if an artist dares to break set his own standards, he is a free artist, not a clone.

    Dealers want predictable sales and output odf works, as though an artist is a factory.
    Last edited by ENT; 05-04-2012 at 10:10 AM.

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    ^another damned conspiricy. They're everywhere.

  15. #15
    ENT
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    ^^You know sod all about the politics of art nor its history except what you might have picked up in the fine arts department of a polytech or art school.

    I doubt that you make a living from art otherwise you'd be aware of the machinations that go on in the game.
    Armchair art historians and afficionados can read all the theory they like about art, but not having explored it themselves are incapable of understanding it, only some approved concepts and theories about art.

    Artists are born, not churned out of art schools, which is what makes a real artist unique.
    He has no clones, neither is he one.

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    The role of fashon in art is uninspiring, even at the top end- Van Gogh had his day in the sun, now they're flogging Munch.
    Other than public art, it really only exists as a commerce to satiate rich peoples ego and vanity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Humbert View Post
    Pollock, De Kooning, Kline, Motherwell were all giants and didn't need the help of the CIA. The New York gallery owners and critics were far more responsible for their success than the CIA.
    I agree. This art was everything that "acceptable" art in the USSR wasn't (not including underground artists). Who, then, was responsible for the "decadent" Kandinsky, Malevich, and Rodchenko that preceded the "CIA" art?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ENT
    ^^You know sod all about the politics of art nor its history except what you might have picked up in the fine arts department of a polytech or art school.
    Drivel from cultural dwarf.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang
    Other than public art, it really only exists as a commerce to satiate rich peoples ego and vanity.
    Really? What about museums and galleries? The market forces and hype that drive prices, admittedly allow some artists to achieve fame that is not merited but there is universal agreement in the art history community that the artists referred to in this thread are masters.

  20. #20
    ENT
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    The role of fashon in art is uninspiring, even at the top end- Van Gogh had his day in the sun, now they're flogging Munch.
    Other than public art, it really only exists as a commerce to satiate rich peoples ego and vanity.
    You're close to the point there, for art has morphed into a fashion and it's all kitsch, a fashionable repetition and variation of some original concepts.

    Real and original thought expressed in any medium may be art, but not necessarily, as the concept may fail to have the creator's intended effect upon the viewer.

    Art burst through a lot of concepts in the early part of last century, but as kitsch gradually took over, the likes of Warhol and subsequent abstractionists using predigested concepts simply created marketable goods.
    Dali and Picasso both evolved out of the post impressionist era to become explorers of their own unique concepts and styles which have inspired many to follow them.

    Picasso's mathematical and formal juxtapositioning of aspects of reality was at the other end of the conceptual spectrum from Dalis plasticity and unconscious projections.

    In between those two extensions of visional application is another universe of vision that has not yet been understood, but which some artists are exploring.
    They are not mainstream, neither are they pattern makers as is evident in much so called art, methods borrowed from many other n cultures, but not necessarily original concepts leading the way into a new future, nor even empowering the present.

  21. #21
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    ^ gee, the history of twentieth century art in one post. Instead of posing as some kind of authority why don't you just suggest people educate themselves on their own.
    I find your gross simplifications to be an insult to one's intelligence.

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    I had a difficult time seeing the value of the work of the Russian-born Mark Rothko (another CIA creation, no doubt) before watching this documentary. Maybe some others here will enjoy it (part of a great series, btw):
    “You can lead a horticulture but you can’t make her think.” Dorothy Parker

  23. #23
    ENT
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    Quote Originally Posted by Humbert View Post
    ^ gee, the history of twentieth century art in one post. Instead of posing as some kind of authority why don't you just suggest people educate themselves on their own.
    I find your gross simplifications to be an insult to one's intelligence.
    Oh, boohoo!

    Let's see what your theory on art and its development is then.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ENT
    Let's see what your theory on art and its development is then.
    Who but a complete moron would attempt such a unsolicited endeavor in an internet forum.

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    ^^^Brilliant!

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