The obvious connection to past readings is to Ai Weiwei, and the movements he is causing with his art in China. The major difference is that Weiwei is acting against the government’s will, while the abstract expressionist movement was generally supported by the US government. I think this speaks not only to the nature of the relationship between the US government and its people, but also the difference between the way Chinese and American artists express themselves without government influence. The Abstract Expressionist movement was something that the US government didn’t artificially create, they supported something that was already happening to some degree. The Chinese government, on the other hand, needs to suppress its natural art movements to try and foster some that actually support the current system.
The historical implications of the events in the story are somewhat similar, but can also be connected to a different artist we have read about. Gilbert Stuart was also influenced by the US government to use his artistic skills to improve the public and international image of George Washington. His work became the most recognizable image of Washington, and helped secure his respect, which was a seriously important task for the then very young America. This is not particularly different from the way the US government supported the abstract expressionist, nor was it unique for the time period. The relationship between art and political influence have always intertwined, and its unlikely that will change anytime. soon