Contemporary Art’s Sugar Daddy, The Central Intelligence Agency (aka, The CIA)

You ever wonder why some art is considered, art? I mean you know, when you walk into an art museum and you see a toilet on a pedestal that ends up selling for over $500,000, you ever wonder what in the world you’re missing?

duchamp ready made

An insightful disclosure by a former CIA officer named, Donald Jameson (if that’s his real name) might shed light onto why some things were considered high-end contemporary art, and still are today. 

Jameson shared with United Kingdom publication, The Independent, in ’95 that the CIA had established a Cold War counter propaganda program known as “Congress for Cultural Freedom” that was run by a CIA agent intended to communicate to Russia how much freer the U.S. was compared to the tight Socialist rules for their artists to follow. 

Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF) had offices in 35 countries and 12 magazine publications according to The Independent, including Encounter magazine. The CCF also sponsored exhibitions that toured every major European city with funds allegedly from millionaire-backers, but I have an inkling a lot of those monies came from tax-payer contributions

Artist such as Jackson Pollock & Willem de Kooning supposedly were in ways, promoted by these funds, but with careful degrees of separation. 

pollockTateModern      dekoonig

Pollock                                                  de Kooning

I have long speculated that the art of contemporary art wings in museums such as Tate, The Guggenheim, Museum of Modern Art, were all being directed by a single agenda, and this story seems to justify this inkling. Now that a former CIA officer has volunteered this information that verifies this belief, I am also left with more questions:

If it’s “avant-garde” today, is it being financed by someone (CIA or other) with an agenda?

How is the “Who’s Who” of the art world truly defined? Is someone promoting their work for reasons other than a strong interest in it as art?

If you have gone through art school, you’ve been told half-truths at best, either knowingly or unknowingly, by the art historians who wrote the art history textbook you had to study. But if there is one thing I learned how to do in college, it was research and verify.

My feelings, inkling, that some well-known artists were merely puppets of an agenda, seems to be increasingly verified the more I speculate what’s been delivered as whole-truth, which is what lacks in “movements” like the CIA promoted avant-garde movement, Abstract Expressionism, in my humble opinion. 

But I guess there is not much to be discontent about here regarding Abstract Expressionism, I mean the CIA essentially promoted the freedom the U.S. has compared to other countries. But it still begs the inquiry,

Who is pushing certain individuals to culture’s spotlight today, and why?

Source: The Independent


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