THE WORLD’S TOP 10 MOST POPULAR PROTEST ART

Find the top 10 most popular protest art. The world’s best 10 examples of protest art. The top 10 most famous protest art pieces. 

By Mau, Global Head of Marketing Strategy at eDigital.

THE WORLD’S TOP 10 MOST POPULAR PROTEST ART

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THE WORLD’S TOP 10 MOST POPULAR PROTEST ART

Surely most of the protest art pieces are not part of the world’s top 25 most expensive art, however, they grab massive media attention and more importantly the recognition of people who want to change things for the better. 

The below popular protest art examples showcase the work of a range of artists from different parts of the world. These artists confront traditional boundaries, defy authoritarian structures of power, resist social norms and call into question racial and gender inequalities and non-sense rulings. Protest art disputes old ideologies and challenges policymakers to review and change ways of living rejected by the masses. 

Protest art surely spokes up for the powerless, oppressed and marginalised communities and against those who try to refuse to offer human rights. 

Different themes are used to bring attention but more importantly recognition such as provocation, subversion, farce, satire, irony

Enjoy our below curation of the world’s top most popular protest art.

10. Giant dead whale

By Greenpeace

giant dead whale plastic pollution protest art installation naic cavite philippines beach greenpeace

giant dead whale plastic pollution protest art installation naic cavite philippines beach Greenpeace

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9. MAHSA AMINI MURALS

The coloured illustration added to the below collage is part of many murals around the world that protest the death of Mahsa Amini in Iran. 

mahsa amini women rights protest art mural collage hijab iran

Mahsa Amini – women’s rights protest – art mural collage hijab Iran

2022 saw a surge of protest art in Iran, triggered by the tragic story of Mahsa Amini, a young woman killed on September 16, 2022, by the Iranian morality police for breaching the Islamic Republic’s dress code for women. Since then, civil unrest has grown in many Iranian cities, with calls for justice as well as personal and political liberties, not to mention hundreds of arrests and violence against protesters, especially young women. Internet access was limited as the government regulated its usage.

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8. J’aime la couleur

By Chéri Samba

J'aime la couleur 2013 Chéri Samba

J’aime la couleur 2013 Chéri Samba

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7. Power to the People

By Mau Esmar (@mau-mar)

power to the people icon design protest art

power to the people icon design protest art

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THE LINK BETWEEN PROTEST ART AND MARKETING

In the last couple of years, we have seen more brands taking positions on matters of social justice, gender diversity, gender equality, cost of living, war, environmental and health rights.

The surprise here was that it wasn’t just the usual suspects – the “activist” brands.

Mainstream organisations led by courageous marketers are taking proactive positions and they’re doing so quickly and definitively – without first being called out, which is something new in comms.

For example, the absence of official statements from brands in relation to the Roe v. Wade ruling in the U.S.A. (abortion rights) generated negative public sentiment. Source: Cision Trends report 2023. 

Another example is that consumers want to shop in a more circular and green way and businesses want to give something back to the communities they serve by supporting those movements that demand cleaner products and services. 

Affiliations to social movements that use protest art forms should also be measured so you know how your campaigns are landing, as well as to inform how to hone any support to other social movements.

Specifically, you need to analyse which media segments are most open to protest art, as well as to better understand which media outlets regularly carried unpredictable or news-cycle-led stories, and why.

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6. Anti-War Happening

yayoi kusama anti war happening 1968 protest art performance

Yayoi Kusama Anti-war happening 1968 protest art performance – Collage by eDigital

Anti-war activists are downloading > Peace sign black symbol png

5. Cut Piece

Cut Piece, Yoko Ono’s pioneering work of participatory art. This famous performance protest artwork first staged on 20th July 1964 at Yamaichi Concert Hall in Kyoto, Japan invites attendees – following instructions supplied in a leaflet – to ascend one by one to cut away a small piece of her clothing with a pair of scissors. Throughout, she remains still and expressionless. Nobody says a word; All you hear is the clickety-clack of their shoes as they ascend and descend from the stage.

yoko ono cut piece 1964 collage

yoko ono cut piece 1964 – Collage by eDigital

“Yoko Ono’s Piece Cut make people challenge their views on how women are valued. Themes of objectification, sexism, control, domination, and racism are apparent in this work”

Mau

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4. The Problem We All Live With – Norman Rockwell

The Problem We All Live With Nigger Norman Rockwell black school girl

The Problem We All Live With Nigger Norman Rockwell black school girl

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3. PUSSY RIOT “VLADIMIR PUTIN” PROTEST ART PHOTOGRAPHY

pussy riot vladimir putin russia protest art photography music

Pussy Riot – Vladimir Putin – Russia – protest art photography music

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2. SOIS JEUNE ET TAIS TOI

sois jeune et tais toi

sois jeune et tais toi

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1. No Future

By Banksy

No Future street protest art Banksy Barcelona Spain

No Future street protest art Banksy Barcelona Spain

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OTHER POPULAR PROTEST ART PIECES

  • Insertions Into Ideological Circuits. By Cildo Meireles ( Brazil) Coca-Cola bottles turned into Molotov cocktail bombs
  • Mothers protests of disappeared youth, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Mural Matki
  • Demonstrators prepare to protest demanding the resignation of President Jovenel Moïse in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on October 17, 2019.
  • Israeli protest 2023

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CONCLUSION

Thousands of people have been inspired and empowered by the above protest art examples and many more. Art has and will always show the discontent, frustration and anger of the unfair ruling and actions of governments and big companies. Protest art surely is a great channel to criticize and raise voices about injustices and inequalities. Open resistance and bold disobedience are part of protest art and always, and that defiance has offered a voice to the marginalised and oppressed. 

I invite you and your business to review how you can support anti-establishment movements that resonate with your brand values. 

Want to connect your brand with some of the world’s most influential protest artists? Contact us today! 

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THE WORLD’S TOP 10 MOST POPULAR PROTEST ART

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