The leaders of most modern countries exploit a powerful political tool - the use of images. These techniques, in fact, were invented thousands of years ago by the leaders of the Ancient World. An ancient gravesite near Stonehenge revealed an important man buried with beautifully crafted gold ornaments - probably the only such gold objects in Britain at the time. This gold, so impossibly rare, would have dazzled the locals, creating the image of a leader. So clearly it was learned early in human history that art as personal adornment enhanced your status.
In other parts of the ancient world, however, many leaders had vast empires with many disparate conquered people to rule, and possessing fine jewelry was not enough to get their kingly message across. Darius the Great, King of the Persians, came up with the first art political logo, with Alexander the Great later expanding on the concept by imprinting his face on coins that flooded his empire. Modern politicians use techniques similar to those invented by rulers of old, but instead of paint and marble, they use digital technology. But whatever the final form, people remain as vulnerable now as ever to the persuasive power of art.
Last Updated: 7/24/2014 10:22 AM