A Nation Of Artists Divided

In his short time in power, Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez has led his country in what some call a leftist revolution, and what others call a needless class war. As clashes between Chávez supporters and opponents intensify, the nation’s artists have found themselves in unexpected conflict with each other. “Once faithfully leftist and mostly detached from political life, Venezuela’s modern art community is now deeply divided over Chávez and his populist program. A new brand of political art has emerged in Caracas, produced by acclaimed painters best known for vast abstract canvases and murals. In recent months, the protest that has played out in a haze of tear gas has become clearly visible in paintings.”