Monday, June 11, 2012

Artist/ Translator of the Human Condition

Artists incorporate the human feelings into their art work. 

 Whether it is joy, sorrow, sadness, horror or our own inhumanity towards each other, the artist is a sensitive who takes in the myriad of feelings, images, sounds and sensations that have no words to explain them.  Then we interpret them into paintings, sculpture, poems, songs and plays.  In this way we help explain the human condition so others can make sense of their world and emotions.  There is great beauty in this world, there is great sadness, and there is inexplicable horror and violence. It is the stuff life is made of.   It is what took Picasso into his Blue Period(click) and why he created the masterpiece Guernica. 

Sadness, Anguish, Grief

Loss, Death, Pain

Michelangelo's Pieta from google image
Pain, Horror, Madness

Munch's  The Scream from google image
 Michelangelo's Pieta captures a tender sadness of a Mother's loss of her son, Munch's Scream incapsulates the absolute feeling of horror, pain and terror, and Hiroshige's Wave shows the power of nature over man.

Violence/Death/Mans Inhumanity to Man

Detail from Picasso's Guernica  from google image

I thought we would touch on these themes and look at how artists capture these themes for us.

These past two weeks I have been in New Orleans, as you might have noted in my previous posts.  I am here to help my partner with her Father who is dying of  cancer that moved into the bones.  He is in the last stages of cancer and the decline has been rather rapid.  It is so difficult to see someone you love so ill and watch their body begin its final transition.  Seeing  the emotions of friends and family grapple with their emotions and watching him cope with pain and  sadness is so wrenching.  It brought to mind master art work that best depict such sadness and pain.  
Also in the time I have been here in New Orleans there has been an unprecedented rash of senseless violence and murders in a city mired in poverty and recovery from the disaster of Hurricane Katrina.  Again as I was horrified by the senselessness of the murder of the young and impoverished.  One such murder was that of a 5 year old girl at a birthday party and a 33 year old Mother of 3 driving three blocks away.  Boys playing men shooting at each other over rivalries in broad day light.  A city in turmoil with senseless murders and violence. 
It is not only New Orleans, but much of the United States and other countries are resorting to solving problems with guns and force. 
The world seems more violent these days and violence more senseless.  More Mothers grieve the loss of their children than should.  Boys that can never become men, and little girls that will never see their first dance.  How do we cope with such loss, sadness, pain, and terror.  Lets take a closer look at artists who have done so.
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