Free «Art and Politics» Essay Sample

The art trade of the early 20th century changed its appearance because of Pablo Picasso, the very beginning of the 20th century was rich in artistic geographical expansion and exceptional productivity. Picasso was born in Spain, in a family of professor José Ruiz Blasco and Maria Picasso Lopez in October 25, 1881. They lived in Malaga. He made up his mind to take his mothers last name. He became one of the most authoritative artists of the 20th century, and was a cofounder of a new Cubist movement with George Braque (McNeese& Picasso, 101).

Unexpectedly Picasso got badly ill in 1898 and had to spend his child youth years in a rural area of Catalan, it was a considerable part of his life. When he went back to Barcelona in early 1899, he had become a grown up man, and he had also learned to be independent in the countryside where he used to live. In addition, he had known how to speak Catalan, and most critically he had decided to leave his art school training and to disdain his family’s contrives for his future. Picasso was a radical painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramist and stage designer. He devoted his techniques and skills to an artistic production that contributed to and doubled the whole growth of the modern art in the 20th century. Picasso’s paintings and drawings were circumstantially realistic in direct contrast to the other Cubist works, which prefaced or concurred together at that time. After his travels to Italy and back to Barcelona in 1917 a new ‘classical’ spirit was perceptible in his paintings and drawing techniques. Almost all his work was done in Blue between 1901 and 1904. He used symbolic colors to reflect depressed tone of hardship in the artist’s life in his pictures.

Berman explains, that his longtime friend Casagema was extremely depressed over a failed love affair; Picasso failed at trying to take his mind off his personal problems, Picasso then left for the capital of Spain, where he worked as an chief art editor in a fresh journal. His friend went back to Paris and made an attempt to shoot his former lover, but instead, turned the gun on himself and shoot himself to death. The effect terribly affected Picasso. Because he lost a loyal friend and felt guilty for not being able to prevent the accident. Fortunately or unfortunately he acquired strong emotional feelings, which reflected substantially in the quality of his work while Blue period. (McNeese& Picass, 452)

Between the Blue and Pink periods, color never came easily, and this forced Picasso to finally move to Paris in 1904, and open up a permanent studio in an old building called Bateau Lavoir. This was the place where his work mood changed and began to project the change of spirit and intellectual, artistic currents. Picasso and Braque and a chance to work together closely. This was the only time Picasso ever did work with another artist who painted. They developed Analytical Cubism; early cubist paintings were misinterpreted by evaluators and collectors, because they were perceived for merely geometrical artistry. They presented a new kind of realism, using perspective and illusion that discontinued the reign of Renaissance tradition.

Later Picasso and Braque began to introduce letters and scraps of newspaper into their cubist paintings and this made way for a new medium, known as the cubist collage. Their composition combined a cubist analytic thinking of letters from literature, and an art object of oil cloth that imitated a section of chair caning framed with a piece of rope. The invention of Cubism shows Picasso’s most noteworthy accomplishment in the story of the previous period of the 20th century. He himself was involved with both sculpture and printmaking, which he continued to practice throughout his long career (Hatt & klonk, 200).

One of the most revolutionary pictures of Picasso’s entire career were first seen in Paris. The artist pictorial style was more revolutionary than anything he had developed up to that date because the faces of the figures could be seen simultaneously from frontal and profile positions. The bodies of the pictures submitted a radical pictorial language. He cut through pedantic dissertations to offer one of his most devout accesses about the reasons why he was an artist. He spoke of non textual matter as of weapons against all things.

When he talked about art being a weapon, he specifically described African voodoos. He called them defensive weapons and tools that boosted the level of an individual’s independence. Since painting was not easy to achieve, Picasso used guides to dig deeper into his consciousness. His paintings forced everyone to become a part of the action because they created an inescapable confrontation with whoever saw them. He held back the sense of being a foreigner all of his life, the civil war in his native Spain politicized him and exalted the majuscule protest picture Guernica in 1937.

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Penrose explains, that no other artist would be able to apply the pictorial language of Cubism to a subject that sprang directly from social and political awareness so as to convince the viewers. (217) After World War II, he was established as one of the old masters of modern art. He also came out publicly and revealed that he was a communist, because he lived as a poor boy and understood how poor people lived. He was banned from the Soviet government because he painted the portrait of the soviet leader.

Despite his extraordinary success, Picasso considered himself a rebel. His rebellion was shaped by his anarchist ideas. In 1904, he said that, an artist is always at war with the world in all aspects of the different warring sides. He described his fellow feeling with primitive art as a kind of magical protection against the world. He believed that paintings were a sum of destructions and his visions of social harmony tended to be idealizations of the past rather than visions of a modern alternative. Guernica painting became a timely and a prophetic imagination of the Second World War, and it came to be recognized as an international image for peace.

Picasso hid many magical images in his work by incorporating the images into his artistic shadings and works. Picasso was driven in his art by the need to unload himself of psychological concerns; also most of his work was done under stress. One of his worries was the love triangle between himself, his wife Olga and his mistress Marie- Therese Walter. In the early months of 1934, he invented horrific bullfight scenes, later on his wife, who sometimes was described as a possessed person, appeared to discover his affair and filed for divorce.

That affected Picasso’s peace of mind and threatened his family life and property. Symbols relating to a tragic pregnancy were repeated throughout new drawing. By July 1934, Picasso portrays his wife as a raging monster, as she might have known about the pregnancy. Picasso was married twice to Olga Khoklova and Jacqueline Roque, and he had four children, one with Khoklova and three with second wife. He died when he was preparing an exhibition of his works at the Avignon Arts festival in France.

After his death, he was still remembered as an artist, who unpredictably shifted focus from one pictorial mode to another. He was a noteworthy ace for sculpture, graphics, ceramics, and paintings. The sheer range of his high quality achievements and attempts, made him one of the most renowned creative people of the modern time. He is fondly remembered for leading the Cubist campaign and the invention of constructed sculpture and collage. He helped to develop and explore different artistic styles. During Spanish civil war, he made different portraits of the war heroes.

Together with Henry Matisse and Marcel Duchamp they transformed plastic arts by bringing a lot of significant developments in sculpture, painting and ceramics. Picasso demonstrated exceptional artistic characteristics in his early stages of life. He painted in a realistic manner in his adolescence and childhood. In the first decade of the 20th century, he changed his style and experimented with complex theories, ideas and techniques. This changed his artistic accomplishments and brought him a lot of fortune and fame. It made him the most influential artist of the 20th century (Gardner, 145).

In 1900, he made his first trip to the capital of all arts, where he met Max Jacob. Jacob helped him learn the art city’s language and literature. Since these were times of severe poverty and desperation, some time they could only sleep in turn to go through cold hard times. Many of his works were burned to keep the room warm because of excessive cold weather. Together with his friend, they illustrated and contributed to magazines, which published some of their grim cartoons, symbolizing the state of poverty among the people in Madrid where they lived.

During World War I, he extended his stay in Paris while the Germans invaded the city. Since his artistic ideas did not conform to the Nazi apotheosis of art, he did not show his styles during that time. He retreated to the studio severally to continue painting and produced several works, for example, Still Life with Guitar (1922). The Germans had conquered Paris, and they outlawed the use of bronze casting. He, however, continued to use bronze which was smuggled in to him by the French resistance. During this time, he took up writing as an alternative outlet.

Picasso created several anti war paintings, though he was physically neutral during the war because of his refusal to join any side of the army. When the Spanish civil war began, he was in his late fifties and by the time of the world war he was already old and could not be expected to take part in military conflicts. His residence in France as a foreigner did not bring hatred to the Germans and wish to fight in any of the world wars. However, he expressed anger and discomfort about Francisco Franco through his art. (Caws 10)

Guernica painting relates to the bombing of Guernica. During this time, the Spanish government commissioned Picasso to design a large scale mural to be displayed in Paris Mural Exposition. This was Picasso’s way of expressing his political commitment and loyalty to Spain. The Spanish civil war symbol served as an anti war symbol, for those viewing it depicted how war resulted into tragedy. The painting also sent a message to the world, telling how it was extremely pertinent to embrace peaceful coexistence. Guernica demonstrated the disaster of war and the pain it imposed on the people within the surrounding. The tonal setting in the painting showed worried people, animals, and buildings desolated by chaos.

When viewing specific aspects in the painting each symbol displays a different emotion. Picasso shows each person by depicting agony and trouble in unparalleled ways. For instance, the drawing of a woman crying for the death of her child resulting from the bombing of Guernica. Also, the colors used band a drab tone and forces the eye to focus on its crucial details. Guernica is Pablo Picasso's articulation about political events and conveys his individual message that war leads to death which adversely affects a society and its people to a great extent.

The impact of war was represented through the Guernica painting because it displayed that the war had adverse effects that made society sad and it had negative consequences even to people practicing it. It related to historical events that depicted specific scenes of the Spanish civil war. The artist also tied to artistic expressions by expressing moments that culturally paid tribute to the artists.

The artist’s residence in Paris marked the eve of his artistic developments since it provided him with the opportunity to meet influential people in the art world. Picasso was an innovator and his works were characterized by the originality and style of his works. He was at the forefront in remolding and reshaping the Cubist style continuously. Cubism became an authoritative building block for the integral modern art movement. The idea of fragmentizing and conventionalizing real things, in particular human forms, coated the way for future outline and artists’ paintings.

Picasso was enlivened after seeing an African art exposition at the Trocadero Museum. The assumptive representations of human forms aided him to develop his own Cubic style. As Cubism developed, Picasso moved into sculpt and montage which took their essence from Cubism. His use of everyday objects like glasses and newspapers revolutionized the way the collage and sculpture were comprehended, and Cubism developed from its analytical form to manmade Cubism. As Picasso got older, he transferred into a more abstract and dreamlike world in which he used brighter colors and in which recognizable forms became symbolized by different objects and shapes.

It is hard to recognize where his works came from and much of what he developed in his earlier years can only be regarded as an instinctive development of his Cubist roots. Picasso’s use of newsprint in his collages influenced his choice of ideas, placement of news items and inspiration of original acts of art introduction. Picasso’s early encounters of anarchism.

In conclusion, Picasso is a consummate artist who used art in relation to the complex political activities. His response to the world around him is more dynamic than that of the political engagement so politics is related to specific aspects of art like the images that were used to express discomfort with the political processes that prevailed during that time, for example, the Spanish civil war and world wars.


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