The (Political) Gift of Art

Ed Ruscha- "Column with Speed Lines"

Claire Howorth reported Thursday in The Daily Beast the gifting of art between this world’s two most powerful men, Barack Obama and David Cameron.   After the media mêlée last year following Obama’s pittance of 25 DVDs to Gordon Brown, it seems that the U.S. has ironed out those diplomatic wrinkles via Ed Ruscha’s “Column with Speed Lines”.  Tongue not so firmly in cheek, it is quite nice to see artwork as a diplomatic olive branch, particularly with the light Howorth’s editorial shines on the artwork’s symbolism and meaning.  The gesture gives clout to contemporary art on a level and realm that’s been vacuous for years (specifically 2001-2009).  I mean, I have heard politicians say they support the arts, but it’s nice to see one lead by example.

-joel sager


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