On the other side of the Diaphanous Mirror

Art and society are the two sides of a mirror, every form of art is inspired by society. Artists take inspiration from society, social values, relations, structure, and so on and combine them with their work to pursue the message they are trying to voice out. From cradle to grave we are learning new things every day and society plays a huge role in that. Society not only teaches us to live in harmony but also helps to guide our life and future. We learn about unity, dignity, sacrifice, respect, valor. honor, affection, and deeper emotions through the communications we establish in society. Art is just the same, while it takes the view from society and helps to reach more people with its artistic voice. Each and everything in our life and society can be an inspiration for any form of art. Art provides a conduit for imaginative expression and testimonials of history. Not only does art show the real truth behind the social structure and phenomenon but also teaches us about valor, dignity, and sacrifice that our previous generation went through. Art has the ability to integrate people despite the difference of class, gender, color, religion, beliefs and only identifies humanity. One of the effects of art on society is that it contributes to community solidarity, reduces social exclusion and isolation, and makes the community feel stronger. Art gives us an understanding of our surroundings and helps us to understand deeper emotions which aid in our self-awareness.


Art is a form of expression of one’s emotions, feelings, thoughts, needs, and desires. It often projects what words fail to express in general. It gives artists from various social backgrounds a chance to belong in a community. Various forms of art have been introduced not only to portray the social culture and traditions but also the stigmas of society. Art has helped to create a rebellion against the injustice and inequalities happening in society. It can give voice to the politically or socially disenfranchised by being the means of social change. We have painting, architecture, sculpture, literature, music, performing and film as a form of art, these can be bold, unique and common, powerful and subtle, and unassuming all at the same time. On one hand, art can be seen as a form of beauty while on the other it can raise a voice against bigotry. Ugliness has as much a place in our lives as beauty, or maybe more- as when there is widespread hunger and injustice in society. Poets and artists have incorporated both in their works and in doing so they have often tied beauty to truth and justice so that what is not beautiful presumes a tolerable proportion as something that represents some truth about life. 


Art is being used as a form of proclamation for the youth. The youth of today are the leaders, innovators, and creators of tomorrow, they are voicing out their opinions with paintings, film, literature, sculpture, graffiti, and so on and these are all forms of art. The youth of our generation are conscious of social injustice, political regression, world peace, human rights, gender equality, and gender identity. They are trying their best to make people realize the importance of these issues through the medium of art and trying to leave some impact on society for the better.

Art has been used in the language movement of my country, Bangladesh. Murals, posters, films, paintings, writings, and songs have been composed to encourage the students and the people from all over the country. Again, these art forms have been used in the liberation war of 1971; they have portrayed the brutal and heinous acts against the people of Bangladesh. As time went on art has been used multiple times to encourage and make people aware of the various social oppression and despotism. Not only in Bangladesh but also all over the world art has been used as a form of revolution. In recent years, art forms have visualized authoritarianism, sexism, racism, injustice in law, and political repression. Art is being used as a communication method for humanitarian causes, human rights, and global dilemmas. Not only does art tell us about the present situation in society but also helps us to gain knowledge of previous movements and encourages us to hope for a better society in the future. As artist Joyce J. Scott says- “I think art has the ability [to], if not cure or heal, at least enlighten, slap you in the head, wake you up,” 


Just like society, art also doesn’t belong to any particular age group, and you don’t need to have proper skills for it, you can get the inspiration from what you see and create art and voice your opinion. In society we learn to live with people from all spheres of life, we rely on each other for everything; art helps to bring us together in both festivals and dilemmas. Both society and art teach us to be open to opinions and also respect them. In society we are taught to be ourselves and art helps in that self-expression, from the society we take in the teachings of our peers and older generation which helps us to gain life experience while art does the same because art and its meaning differ from person to person, it helps young generation to learn new things and older generation to reminisce their days. On a skill basis, not only the urban but also the rural people create art without proper learning because art is not bound by rules, art is what you feel and want to portray. And all the art forms and pieces contribute to community aesthetics in such a manner that they integrate themselves within the society.


From various perspectives our society is considered different, and that can be shown properly through various art forms, if we take proletariat expressionism as an example we can see that the pictures in these forms have portrayed the ordeal of people from various eras from all over the worlds, the sketches showed the beauty of human body and the serenity of the society while the colors brought out the cruelty and sacrifice, this shows how society has been a motivation and a conduit for expression since ancient times. Posters, murals, and graffiti have been used mostly to convey the voice of the people, these have been used as a medium of awareness as well as to address the various injustices happening in society.

Art is generated through the evaluation of the social structure and relations; art concludes the serenity, chaos, injustice, freedom, and sacrifice from the core of society. Art helps to discover deeper emotions and the relations of humanity because the world is getting busier with each passing moment and we, humans think too much, feel too little. We’ve grown so accustomed to the norms of our lives that we forget to live for ourselves rather than making each of the moments memorable. Art helps us to maintain that stability we need in our daily life. Art shows us that the people that are there for us in society have their own stories to tell, their own opinions they want to share, and their small adventures that they enjoy. Art values the relations and the traditions happening in the society for ages. Art conveys the truth of society, social values, and relations in all its form and aspects.  

So, it can be said that art and society are just the two sides of a mirror where both have relied on each other to express themselves because art wouldn’t have any existence without the inspiration coming from society and society would cease to exist without the portrayal of it in various forms of art.