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The CIA Used Modern Art As a Cultural Weapon Against the Soviets

For everyone who’s ever had their eyes/brain manhandled and condescended to by the likes of Pollock and Motherwell, know this: the CIA was using that art as a weapon against the Soviets during the Cold War. According to a former CIA case officer:

“Regarding Abstract Expressionism, I’d love to be able to say that the CIA invented it just to see what happens in New York and downtown SoHo tomorrow!” he joked. “But I think that what we did really was to recognise the difference. It was recognised that Abstract Expression- ism was the kind of art that made Socialist Realism look even more stylised and more rigid and confined than it was. And that relationship was exploited in some of the exhibitions. In a way our understanding was helped because Moscow in those days was very vicious in its denunciation of any kind of non-conformity to its own very rigid patterns. And so one could quite adequately and accurately reason that anything they criticised that much and that heavy- handedly was worth support one way or another.”