Brainstorming Ideas resulted in my Final Project
Most people as they observe a civil protest on their television or in person may seize upon a fleeting moment of the various signs and posters involved but rarely do they associate such items as fine art. The fact of the matter is that such creativity offers a significant insight into both the artistic abilities of the creator as well as a projection of the mood of society when the work was created.
Protest art as it is frequently referred to generally will grace our senses with brilliant colors and often times extremely elaborate artwork. At other times we may be blessed with but a non-color portrayal of the message being sent. This art form is a means of conveying the activist’s message to the masses as they implant illustrated instructions encouraging others to take action. These types of works of art usually promote counter establishment thinking or are meant to establish a point of view against the current powers that be. We have seen this art form gradually progress from its infant stages in the early 1900’s onward however it has only been within the last twenty to thirty years that it has cultivated a measure of acceptability as a reputable art form.
When reviewing this art you will discover that it functions as a major force in the process of political demonstrations and has given birth to several major icons which appear often on such art. Doves or peace symbols have become synonymous with protests and often adorn many of these art posters. In order to quantify an appreciation of protest art one has to recognize and understand the message being visually transmitted. It would do no good to create a poster depicting an image of a girl with blank white eyes and fangs protruding from her mouth with a caption reading “Anti-Twilight” if the masses did not know to relate Twilight to the movie.
This is exactly the usual situation with Pablo Picasso’s Guernica. Unless one is familiar with Spain and versed in Picasso’s background you may rightfully view his work of art as merely a rendition of a modern cubist art form. To the uninformed art observer they may perceive only disfigured images of cattle and horses combined with what appears to be human beings in agony. Why? Because they may have no clue as to what his actual intent in his mural was. We know from study that it was intended to represent the horror inflected upon his beloved city of Guerica as a result of the Spanish war. To fully appreciate the message within his painting one would have to understand how Guernica had become Picasso’s primary avenue of protest against the atrocities which he perceived from Generalissimo Franco upon his countrymen.
This unique form of art rarely has an origin intended for a position within art museums but rather more on the level of street art. It is likely that some viewers may actually place protest art in the same scale as street graffiti and in several respects they are similar. Both are attempting to convey a message to the masses of a particular social discrepancy and usual the two represent the same artistic endeavors.
Being a child from the 60’s era I was actively involved in a few protests myself and still can bring back the emotional feelings which I experienced when viewing many of the posters involved. As I have stated previously I am an avid fan of Pablo Picasso and have used his works as a starting point in my cubist education. In the past I have recreated several of Mr. Picasso’s works such as Jacqueline with Flowers, Weeping Women, Guitarist, along with several others. My crowning jewel will be to eventual recreate my own Guernica.
Copyright @2011 Joseph Parish