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Context: I'm looking for justification of the above in my story so I can have clandestine artists.

But I'm having a little dificulty finding a situation in which art becomes to inherenty detrimental that not even it as a hobby is well seen and it requires actions outside of the law~! Maybe a lack of resources?

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  • $\begingroup$ "I'm having a little dificulty finding a situation": Photographers who liked to take pictures of undressed women in Victorian times. Poets who like to write satirical works, at all times and in all places. (What do you think, why was the Apocolocyntosis, The pumpkinification of Divine Claudius, published anonymously?) Artists who like to paint their works on the walls of public buildings. Artists who like to make revolutionary posters. There are many clandestine artists right now. See samizdat. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Oct 31 '20 at 21:22
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    $\begingroup$ @AlexP Those are all instance where specific art was disfavored, but not art as a whole concept. Each of those cultures has plenty of "allowed" art. $\endgroup$
    – Cadence
    Oct 31 '20 at 21:51
  • $\begingroup$ In a culture springing up from an extreme survival situation, where surviving is still the highest priority, art as a whole might be devalued for having no practical purpose contributing to the community's survival. Someone who chooses to expend a lot of energy on art may be ridiculed or even punished for not contributing enough of actual "value". Actually making art as a whole ILLEGAL, though, that's harder to justify. As others have noted, sometimes a specific medium or content in art has been outlawed or frowned upon irl, but not to my knowledge art as a whole concept or practice. $\endgroup$
    – MarielS
    Oct 31 '20 at 21:58
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Destruction of art as representative of unacceptable thought.

This has happened many times. French Revolutionaries destroyed cathedrals and art. The Soviets and communist chinese had strict rules governing what sort of art was acceptable. The Nazis on taking power famously burned piles of "degenerate art". The most recent example I can think of is the Taliban in Afghanistan.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destruction_of_art_in_Afghanistan

Taliban insurgence/occupation Upon the resurgence of Taliban rule from 1996-2001 the ban on most forms of art and cultural expression was immediately implemented.[2] The Taliban’s war on art was inspired by the Koran. The Koran forbids the portrayal of living things, whereby drawing or sculpting living things is recognized as a direct affront to the Almighty.[15] Among the initial acts of removal were dragging paintings out of homes, book burnings containing art work, public execution to TV sets and the discontinuation of music.[16] In 1996, at the very beginning of the Taliban's rise to power, the entire card catalog archiving the art at the Afghan National Museum was burned in order to keep the rebels warm.[17] The systematic destruction of museums and their collections, to include film archives were purged to cleanse them of the "unIslamic" depiction of the living and human form.[2][16]

In your world, art must celebrate the values of the ruling party. Art which does not do this is degenerate or heretical or treasonous. Persons interested in making such art must do so in secret. It is not farfetched at all.

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    $\begingroup$ This answer still allows for legal art (if you are making art that agrees with the folks in charge). From the context I inferred the OP is asking for all art to be illegal. Perhaps I'm wrong? $\endgroup$
    – MarielS
    Oct 31 '20 at 22:01
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    $\begingroup$ @MarielS - no that is what I got too. I think the Taliban view comes pretty close - that art (and music) are prohibited. I think the conservative Islamic tradition they represent allows decorations along the lines of patterned fabric but not representational art. I do not understand the whole of their view on music. One could make a hybrid government view that art and music is degenerate, useless and not productive of food, shelter or anything people actually need, and so a waste of time and effort and a distraction from more important things. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Oct 31 '20 at 22:14
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    $\begingroup$ The newest (albeit not quite law yet) example would be BLM's hatred for European art, such as Beethoven and Shakespeare. $\endgroup$
    – The Daleks
    Nov 1 '20 at 0:19
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This has been explored by Orwell in 1984. Art does not follow IngSoc. That makes it Thoughtcrime, together with love and any non-Insonc thought. Thoughtcrime is dealt with by MiniLove. They Will take Thoughtcriminals and reeducate them. Make them see that Big Brother loves them, that they love Big Brother. Room 101 is just a tool for that.

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I believe there have been multiple strict religious sects that forbid art and decoration. The most strict Amish fit this description. As I understand it, the reasoning is that it is a distraction/vice away from the devout life of hard work they believe in.

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  • $\begingroup$ Do you have a source for the Amish aspect of your answer? I grew up near an Amish community and that just doesn't fit my experience. That community may not have been the strictest, but they were still known for their candies, quilts, woodworking, metalwork, cooking/baking, and a few other artistic talents. Someone being labeled as an artist would definitely be rare, but that doesn't mean art is entirely lacking. I can't seem to find anything in online searches about Amish being against art, but rather see a lot of art about and by Amish. I'm not saying you're wrong, but I can't confirm it. $\endgroup$ Nov 3 '20 at 21:31

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