Just how powerful can a work of art be? I have been asking myself this since I heard on the BBC World Service a story about how the tapestry of Picasso’s famous Guernica was covered over with a blue curtain while General Colin Powell made his case against Iraq at the United Nations Security Council on 5 February 2003.
Someone at the United Nations (or, perhaps, in the U.S. Government) decided that this powerful depiction of war’s horrors was too much to contemplate as the case for the invasion of Iraq was being presented.
I am not trying to make a political point here, but – as the post’s title suggests – am pondering the power an image can have. We all know that photographs can profoundly affect us. Think, for example, of the picture of the man standing in front of the Chinese tanks in Tianmen Square. But what about paintings and sculpture?
Can you suggest other works of art that have elicited remarkable reactions?