Social Commentary-Food For Thought

I want to help the photo 1 class understand the meaning of Social Commentary. Here are a few items to help. (Some of you may have heard of Michael Moore!?)

“Social Commentary” art is defined as art that didactically depicts political, environmental, religious, and social issues, yet this definition feels restricting.  If artists take the time to reprocess their surrounding and create a visual, tangible product, isn’t the deconstruction and reconstruction in itself a commentary, a statement about the artist’s perceptions?


“Art as social commentary is a major theme in modern and contemporary art. The artist assumes the roles of reporter and analyst in an exploration of the nature of society. Subjects range from momentous historical events to everyday activities. Always at stake is the artist’s wish to uncover the workings of society and draw conclusions for understanding it more effectively. Art that falls within this theme is often critical of political structures seen as harmful, but it also celebrates the achievements of human communities and can poeticize everyday life. Its ultimate ideals are to preserve what is good and to condemn what is threatening in hope of a better society.”



Be sure you are picking a general issue, not simply one of your pet peeves! Some ideas of things you might be interested in depicting/standing up for or against: pollution/environmental concerns, abortion rights, pro-life, racism, big government, homelessness, AIDS, (Creationism vs Evolution for private schools) religious wars, the war in Iraq, poverty, verbal abuse, bullying, depression, teen suicide, discrimination, gay rights…What do you CARE about? Talk to people- has anyone in your family been affected by any of these? How? Why? How did it affect them? (


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