This new revelation raises a number of interesting questions. What art is the CIA supporting now and why? Did it (or does it) also support other artistic genres? What does the term ‘propaganda’ mean when the link between politics and representation is invisible?
Modern art was CIA ‘weapon’
For decades in art circles it was either a rumour or a joke, but now it is confirmed as a fact. The Central Intelligence Agency used American modern art – including the works of such artists as Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko – as a weapon in the Cold War. In the manner of a Renaissance prince – except that it acted secretly – the CIA fostered and promoted American Abstract Expressionist painting around the world for more than 20 years.