"Guernica" by Pablo Picasso is an anti-war painting that is considered one of the most powerful paintings in history. It was created as a criticism of the bombing of Guernica by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italian warplanes during the Spanish Civil War. It toured the world and all the money made from that went to Spanish war relief. It caused the world to pay attention to the war happening in Spain and is an example of how powerful art can be. It was extremely influential then and remains one of the most famous paintings of all time.
The "Marilyn Diptych" by Andy Warhol was created just after her death. It is an extremely famous painting that captures a legendary figure in popular culture now and throughout time. It's important to pay tribute to such important icons because they have such an influence on society. This is one of Andy Warhol's most famous paintings and made him a significant person in the art world.
Norman Rockwell painted the famous artwork "The Problem We All Live With" 1964 during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. Originally published in Look Magazine, it's a painting of 6-year-old Ruby Bridges on her way to all-white William Frantz Elementary school. On the wall behind her is the "n-word" and "KKK" with a splattered tomato. This happened on November 14, 1960 during the New Orleans desegregation crisis and due to threats of violence she had to be escorted by deputy U.S. marshals.
“Silence=Death" by Keith Haring is a statement piece about the oppression of people with AIDS in the 1980s. It portrays how invisible the victims of this disease felt by using the symbolism of the figures covering their mouth, eyes, and ears. It's an important piece that represents an important social issue, and raises awareness for those who feel as though their struggling in silence.
Since the Holocaust, this symbol has been reclaimed by the gay rights movement. This painting is an important portrayal of the struggle and silence of those struggling with AIDS which reflects Haring's own struggle with the disease and his sexuality. It shows how through history how symbols can be re-appropriated and used in art to represent the struggles of an oppressed group of people. It's an example of how symbols in history remain relevant throughout time.
Shepard Fairey made these posters as a criticism of Trump's hateful campaign rhetoric. They were popular signs during the Women's March 2017 which channeled a lot of the frustration of Trump's inauguration. Fairey told CNN, “We thought [they were the] groups that had been maybe criticized by Trump and maybe were going to be most, if not necessarily vulnerable in a literal sense, most feeling that their needs would be neglected in a Trump administration." This is an example of how art can be it's own form of activism and work against social issues that artists' feel are important. These signs spread the message that the people will not sit silently when there is a political figure they disagree with.