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The Role of Art in the British Empire

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This paper critically looks at the reasoning and provides an insight as to whether arts high profile necessarily means that its audience has expanded. It will also evaluate the question as to whether arts high profile has any significant reconfiguration of the interface between high and low taken places within British Contemporary Art. High profiled art is the art that draws a considerable number of audiences over a long time. These artworks are classical and address social, economic, political and life issues across generations. An art which lacks large audience over a long time is low profiled and does not spark controversy because it deals with normal daily themes in a way everyone can imagine.

In the British art, low profile and high profiled art are determined by its sensationalism as it is seen in the most controversial artworks by the contemporary young British artists. The audience of low profiled art can be more at the start but they will not live for long while high profile art attracts audience across all dimensions and for a long time. In Britain, post-modern contemporary art, especially from the Young British Artists is characterized by a significant recourse to material culture and sensationalism (Shanken 2011).

The art is associated with post-imperial cultural anxiety in Britain. This has inspired the establishment of annual Turner Prize by Tate that has become popular in showcasing contemporary British art. From this practice of promoting contemporary art, there have been several beneficiaries especially members of the Young British Artists including Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, Chris Ofili, and Rachel Whiteread among others (Shanken 2011). Tate has a gallery that has transformed into the Royal Art Academy that has exposed contemporary art to a wider audience than the former art.

There has been sensational art display from the Saatchi collection, which has caused controversy in the United Kingdom and the United States. Through these exhibitions, it is clear that art practice in Britain has been different from other practices in the rest of the world, especially paintings from the Young British Artists.

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