If your looking for an answer to this question, I will tell you now. I do not know for sure but I can offer an opinion. We would know the answer if we could figure out an even deeper routed philosophical question. Is there such a thing as a selfless act?
I’m not even going to bother with ins and outs of that specific question. Bringing it back to question in the title, the answer is NO. Art is not all me, me, me. Though many artists would have you believe otherwise.
An artists work (an embodiment of their ideas) are in my opinion, a balance between the internal (self, ego, interpretation, opinion etc) and the external (everything else in the world that influences us). This balance may vary dramatically.
Social and political art is by nature, swaying towards the external. Of course there will always be the influence of the internal and critics will often use this to undermine social, political or protest art (as well as other criticism), but what is prevalent is that not all art is me, me, me. There are people out there making art on the basis that they want to help influence mindsets or make a comment that goes beyond exploring ‘me’, some existential question or art in itself.
Now I want to make, encourage and spread social, political, ‘external’ art (and media) and maybe the subconscious part of me knows that it’s because I want to feel good in myself at some level, but I know I do so because I feel the world needs to see an alternative side other than being presented everyday. Though this could be argued against purely on number of ‘I’s in the previous sentence. Or even more so, based on the fact that I linked my own blog when mentioning the Boyle family.
What I do know is I will continue to show/make etc work based on the influence of others on me and then hopefully me on others so that in the end people can make their own, democratic decisions. And that sentence include a few “me’s” and “I’s” but I will still argue that it is not all me, me, me. Make up your own mind and come to your own conclusions.
In doing so you might to browse some social or political art.
Or if your thinking it doesn’t matter what the topic is because its all about taste, genre, style, medium etc… then I may do a write up about that. On MY blog 😉
Which I have now done: http://bobwinton.wordpress.com/2012/05/02/specific-to-my-own-work/