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Four Reasons Why Nelson Mandela Inspires Artists

Nelson Mandela Art

A Common Mission

By Nelson Mandela

In Mandela’s struggle to end apartheid he challenged the status quo and led a revolutionary mission that defied a history of injustice. According to James Bartlett, executive director, Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA), many artists relate to that mission since they view themselves as agents of change. “It’s no secret why his image has been appropriated in visual art for decades,” he says. “He is a revolutionary. Artists like revolutionaries, because they are revolutionaries. Art is about changing the way we see the world. Artists hold a mirror to society and show the reflection, no matter if that reflection is ugly or beautiful.”

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