Race and Stereotypes as a Subject for Art - Free Essay Example

Published: 2022-12-12
Race and Stereotypes as a Subject for Art - Free Essay Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Race Discrimination Arts Stereotypes
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 580 words
5 min read

Art is a way of life. An avenue through which people communicate with each other about any subject of interest. Artists have a sense of social responsibility which is portrayed physically for visual awareness. Betye Saar, Michael Ray Charles, Kerry James Marshall, and Kara Walker are American artists whose art had a story to tell about the history and present of African Americans. Their Art delved into the dynamics of stereotypes that existed when oppression and racism was the order of the day for the African American people. Their art focused both on the bitterness and unfortunate circumstances their ancestors underwent as slaves and the contemporary discrimination and segregation of their people in contemporary times. Even though art explores beauty and aesthetics, these artists incorporated brutality and horror in their imagery to ensure their people do not forget or shy away from the ordeals the black community as a race are going through and have endured in America.

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Although these artists share a lot of similarity in the message conveyed by their art, major differences exist in the type of art they use, style and movement. Betye Saar art uses collage and assemblage. She was an artist who produced meaningful art from recycling. She used everyday objects to depict artistically, oppression of her people. Her art was both realistic and mythical. Kara Walker uses collaged silhouettes crafted over a landscape to give a rendition of racial and gender stereotypes. Her works are black and white, and a major focus is on the history of how black people struggle to gain identity in America. Michael Ray Charles and Kerry James Marshall used painting as the medium to vividly depict stereotypes of the African American. These artists were both contemporary painters. Michael Ray Charles had a focus on contemporary culture, especially of the Antebellum South. His work offers a comparative and schematic analysis of cultural, racial and mimetic vocabulary from the African American history vis-a-vis their contemporary culture. Kerry James Marshall uses painting with a rendition of scenes and imagery depicting the history of his people as well as his present and the need for the civil rights movement for a better tomorrow.

These types of artwork are beneficial for current and future generations, especially of African American descent. When several artists of different styles, forms, and movements use their work to speak a similar message, then it is evident the message is very significant. Hence the dire need to understand history as it is told through their art, understand and learn from it so that the message is never forgotten and for future generation to realize how far the African American community have come from for several centuries so that they can live a comfortable lifestyle.

The subject matter at hand is a very sensitive issue that needs a lot of care when trying to convey a message especially if it is associated with a lot of pain. Racism and stereotypes revolving around the African American community always bring the subject of slavery and contemporary oppression. I would incorporate the themes of racism and stereotypes in movies and music since the two are the most dominant paradigms in contemporary entertainment and would, therefore, reach the biggest audience. Remembering such horrific history, accepting that it happened and using art and sociological entities to communicate this subject gives it the magnitude and significance that it has and creates a sense of appreciation of the great progress that has been made for many generations.

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