People are cruel. Why so? is a question dwelled upon by many artists and authors the world over. Its undeniability has made it the subject of the creative efforts of the artists and writers Maggie Nelson puts forth in her 2011 book, The Art of Cruelty. Cruelty is ubiquitous to the human experience and seemingly no escape from it. Many artists take the subject matter of cruelty head-on, and Nelson attempts to uncover artists’ motivations and the cultural repercussions; these motivations are often reasonable, but often, like cruelty itself, they are not.

A wealth of new material for readers yet…

Alejandro Elias Perea

MFA and MA Writing Visual Critical Studies Candidate - California College of the Arts 2021

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