Monday, June 18, 2012

A Culture of Violence

I arrived in New Orleans two weeks ago, the first week after I arrived there were five murders within a span of hours.  A friend who grew up here told me New Orleans has always had a problem with violence and corruption, but she felt that was part of what makes the city unique.  Hurricane Katrina made the situation worse stretching city resources to the breaking point.  And now the economic situation with government cutbacks challenges the city even more.  The people here are resilient and strong.  They have survived what was equivalent to an atomic bomb with a major part of their city destroyed.  There is a new spirit here, a new feeling that the city has come back and young energetic creative people moving here.  But the subject of violence of citizens against citizens still remains and the horrors of so many young people dying before their time is so senseless. 


Marc Chagall       War                                                             google image

"The role of art in combating violence has been compelling. From paintings to films, the theme of aggression perpetuated by humans toward others has been a central issue of concern for artists worldwide."
"It is a known fact that art is a very effective medium of communication and social analysis and criticism. In this context the role of art in combating violence has been compelling. From paintings to films, the theme of aggression perpetuated by humans toward others has been a central issue of concern for artists worldwide." from the Turkish Daily News


So let's begin to take a look at how art and artists have dealt with subject of violence over time.  Picasso's mural Guernica has always been a fascinating work of art to me in portraying the horror of war and man's inhumanity to man.


Guernica by Pablo Picasso    google image








Goya         google image

Goya deals with war and the portrayal of violence with realism and almost picturesque story telling while Picasso's images are more abstract and Chagall dream like imagery...but all effectively communicate to us aggression and violence in our world.  





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