The German artist, Joseph Beuys, was as big a force on European art in the late 20th century as Andy Warhol was for American art in the same period. One huge difference was Beuys was very sincere, If he was ironic it isn’t evident to me.
Beuys work was arcane. Arcane in the sense that it was necessary to be initiated to understand it. Once initiated your understanding will never be quite the same.
Like the arcane art of the middle ages, Beuys tried to deliver tools to help us gain understanding of the world around us.
His work like all arcane work was meant to empower the initiated. The walk through the 2010 exhibition at LACMA served as an initiation, the result: a license delivered esoterically by Beuys to freely and creatively express ones self, the greatest individual social-political act of all.