Powerful art can change the way people comprehend the world and while all art has a political viewpoint, art plays a different social role than politics and can never replace politics. When art tries to do this it becomes stale, heartless propaganda. Artur Silva says in David Hoppe's Cover story ("Artur Silva's Curious Art," Feb. 18-25) that his art has to talk about something and that he feels that average middle Americans are being left out of the communication between artist, curators and scholars. Mao Tse-Tung wrote, "A work of art must be intense and concentrated. It cannot passively reflect or just report life. Their [revolutionary artists] primary task is to understand people and know them well." The same capitalist system of which Silva says is how we structure ourselves is also the same system which divides us into classes based on an unjust social order between mental and manual labor. It takes courage to produce art that really matters to the people. I think it's important to support our artists and to urge them to do their best to represent the interests of the masses and to create art that intrigues, amazes, exposes and inspires whether or not the establishment approves. Just as Silva was transformed while growing up under an American puppet regime in Brazil, Silva can help transform others who are struggling with the current economic crisis in our capitalist system with his unique art. As Rage Against the Machine says in "Guerilla Radio": "It has to start somewhere, It has to start sometime / What better place than here / What better time then now ... All hell can't stop us now!"

Doug Smiley

Indianapolis

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