How Does Art Shape Culture

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HowDoes Art Shape Culture

HowDoes Art Shape Culture

Artshave always been significant in depicting practices in variouscultures and major social developments in the society. It isconsidered equivalent to freedom because it forms a channel throughwhich people can freely express their views despite their social,racial, or cultural background. Thus, art helped women and ethnicminorities articulate their issues in the society while pursuingtheir goals for equal treatment (Doss, 2002).

Americanart became more diverse with new exploitive techniques and modes ofexpression, which turned out to influence major social movements inthe country. The ethnic minorities used art to show their socialconditions, transcend race politics, and challenge the racialstereotypes. For example, black artists inspired revolutionary idealsby using multiple strategies to visualize and represent their life,identity, and experiences in America (Doss, 2002). Other artistschallenged the racist representation of the American Indians. Theydisputed the historically formed images of the Indians as drunks orfierce warriors. Some artists challenged the stereotypes revolvingaround the Mexicans, which represented them as lazy or criminals(Doss, 2002).

Additionally,art was a platform for women to express their artistic talents andelevate their position in the society to attain similar rights andprivileges as their male counterparts. Female artists helped to shapetheir identity through body imagery art and to reclaim the voice ofwomen. The artists challenged the demeaning representation of thefemale body, which cast them as a passive object to be gazed upon andsexually desired (Doss, 2002). Instead, they portrayed the femalebody as a significant subject of women liberation. Other femaleartists used handicrafts to raise awareness on the restrictivenotions of female identity and change the course of modern art inAmerica (Doss, 2002).

Inconclusion, art has been used to question irrational value standardsand taboos to correct the social imbalances. The female and ethnicminority artists changed the course of art during the twentiethcentury to include more pluralistic and expansive artisticexpressions, which helped them condemn inequality and discriminationissues in the society. Therefore, they had an enormous impact thatheavily influenced the direction of American art and social justicemovement during the twentieth century.


Doss,E. (2002). Twentieth-centuryAmerican art.Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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