A Study of the Political, Social and Cultural Influences on the Work of Three Photographers
Of all the influences on an artist, the effect of the period in which work is produced is often the hardest to discern. The era in which an artist lives and works brings all of the social, political and cultural influences to bear and, while the effects may be profound in terms of the work, they are some of the most subtle to pick up. But the climate of an era must be understood in order to fully appreciate
the artist's work. Nowhere can this be seen more clearly than in the work of photographers Lee Friedlander, Gary Winogrand and Nicholas Nixon.
While it could be argued that all art is influenced by all of history, this effectively dismisses the effect of the social, political and cultural climate of an era and represents a superficial view of the role of art. Art is the engine that validates a society's collective experience and, therefore is heavily effected by the climate of the times. It is the era immediately preceding an artist's active period and the time
in which he works which have the most influence.
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