How Artists Change The World

By Cleonix Wagner

Art is an inner world projected outside for all to see. At the core of its existence- art is a message. Every artist has a sentiment behind their work and every viewer has an interpretation based on their own experiences and thoughts. 

A single piece of famous artwork has the ability to spark a million different ideas in the minds of all who see it. Art is limitless and free- this is why it is able to reach so many different types of people. Throughout all of history, art has influenced the progression of the world and the minds of those living in it. Leonardo DaVinci led the Renaissance era and created pieces that almost every person can recognize today. This hugely influential cultural movement was centered around art and developing new ways of feeling, thinking and doing. As widespread and memorable as this movement was, it is just a part of something much larger- a global art community that will continue to grow as long as humanity exists on Earth. 

Artists create works that change the world.

Who is Kieth Haring? 

Kieth Haring’s journey begins in New York in the 1980s. Inspired by graffiti artists, Haring takes to the streets and begins drawing with chalk on empty spaces in NY subway stations. His art, unlike art in museums and elite spaces, was accessible to the everyday people living in the city and commuting to work. Quickly, his art pieces containing social and political messages began to catch the attention of NYC residents. One of his most notable public murals sheds light on the drug epidemic in his community with the phrase “Crack is Whack”. These letters tower over pedestrians down below and the bright colors demand their attention. Haring is also remembered for his art bringing Awareness to the AIDS epidemic which offered hope to those who felt hopeless and alone. Although Kieth’s life was cut short in 1990, his work continues to influence the world through their lasting messages surrounding sexuality, war, religion and politics. He remains as one of the most well known and remembered artists of the 20th century.

Keith Haring’s Ignorance = Fear, 1989. Photograph: © Keith Haring Foundation

Who is Banksy?

Chances are you’ve heard the name Banksy at one point or another. Being an anonymous street artist from Bristol, London, Banksy lets his art speak for itself- with no personal fame involved. If you’re lucky, you may come across one of these thought-provoking pieces on a wall in places like NYC, Paris, or London. Banksy takes back the power of street art by creating pieces in public spaces for all to see. After all, there should be no true boundaries to art. These pieces challenge the way we all see the world and contain themes of violence, war, capitalism, homelessness and greed. Some call it vandalism- others argue this is how all art should be. Free. 

Banksy’s art exists to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves and shed light on the dark parts of our world that many of us have the privilege of ignoring. The refugee crisis has been a theme sewn in his recent works, depicting packed migrant boats and lost children. It’s almost as if he is telling the people, “If we do not care about these issues, then who will?” Banksy has raised millions of dollars for charity and supported major causes all over the world. His voice, while seemingly silent, echoes loud through the streets of major cities all over the world. 

The power behind his works is hard to miss. 

Banksy – Love Is In The Air, Flower Thrower, 2005

ArtVotes is driven by respect for all artists and their ability to shape culture, grow minds, and change the world as a whole.