Throughout history art movements have served as a barometer for the current political, economic and social climate. For example, Surrealism was born from the idea that excessive rational thought and conventional middle class values brought about the First World War. Members of this movement met in coffee houses throughout Europe to play collaborative drawing games and discuss the theories of Surrealism. The intent behind the movement was to break down social norms and give people the opportunity to think ‘outside the box’. This sentiment is captured in a quote by Andre Breton, a leader in the movement, “long live the social revolution, and it alone!”
The Pop-Art Movement followed World War II. This art celebrated the return of affluence after the years of hardship and privation experienced during the war. This movement held up a mirror, allowing viewers to be witness to the new material culture.
Do we have an art movement active today? Some may say the recent popularity of street art falls in this realm. This art often serves as a wake-up call to the collective consciousness, a consciousness influenced by mass media and political dogma. These artists break free of controlled exposure and reach the masses through public display.
I believe Busta Rhymes has captured the essence of the movement perfectly.