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Celebrating visual power of Baoshi[1]- [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2015-2-1 14:24:07 |Display all floors
Yan'an, by Fu Baoshi, is on display in the Allow Me to Meticulously Depict the Land show in Beijing. Photo provided to China Daily

Though his late works reflect the "serving the people, serving politics" requirement for art after 1949, Fu Baoshi (1904-1965) retained a highly personal style. The signature "Baoshi wrinkle" strokes and dramatic composition make his paintings stand out among oth ...

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Post time 2015-2-1 14:24:08 |Display all floors
>Though his late works reflect the "serving the people, serving politics" requirement for art after 1949, Fu Baoshi (1904-1965) retained a highly personal style.<

The comment - from someone who'd obviously swallowed wholesale western bourgeois propaganda - is essentially correct but wrong in implication. It was precisely because of Fu's sincerity in serving the people and politics that his works show great originality and power. Much of the art of the European renaissance were concerned with serving the Church and the King, and that tradition of serving the ruling classes continued until the modern era. A few artists, such as Caravaggio and much later Daumier, did manage to defy that reactionary tradition, but they were exceptions and not the rule. But what great exceptions they were: until today Caravaggio's works still speak to the working class and, I would venture, to the masses who'd recently voted for Greece's socialist government. Van Gogh's painting of a pair of old shoes found instant recognition among those who, at the time, had no money to buy even his inexpensive paintings (which later were appropriated by the capitalist class and became very expensive). Many of the Impressionists and post-Impressionists could be said to be people's artists: they defied the wealthy classes by searching for beauty in everyday things, and not merely beautiful things. That today most of their works are owned by the ruling elite does not weaken the message that, ultimately, how the commons live and work and see are not inferior to those who, through wealth and political power, have dictated how art ought to be.  Art for the masses, art that serves the people, must take precedence over art for the privileged – the plutocrats and their hirelings.

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