Propaganda to the People

This week on ART IS EVERYWHERE we're taking a proper gander at propaganda.

Quite a few iconic images have come to the popular consciousness through propaganda:

With all the resources that governments have, what visual languages have they developed to be the most persuasive? The most popular Soviet propaganda aesthetic (see the 4th image above) was born on the heels of Constructivism, a Russian art movement that believed in creating art for social good, and Russian Futurism, the Russian "subgenre" of a primarily Italian art movement emphasizing the speed of modern urbanized life.

Russian Futurists (the political ones) saw the Russian Revolution as the political solution to leaving the bland, doddering art and philosophies of the past behind. As the name suggests, they were all about the future. The Constructivists came after WWI, and were much more politically active. They famously worked on designs for the post-revolution Bolsheviks, helping out at public events and with public artworks.

The ideals embedded in the Constructivist/Futurist aesthetic-- of the forward march, and the idealization of the future, was something that the early post-revolution government capitalized on in creating their imagery for the public. We now associate this look with the events, good and bad, of that time.



This poster by El Liss  itz  ky depicts the Bolsheviks penetrating the White Movement during the Russian Civil War:   Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge , 1920

This poster by El Lissitzky depicts the Bolsheviks penetrating the White Movement during the Russian Civil War: Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge, 1920