Pablo Picasso's "Massacre in Korea," 1951
For this work, I am interested in exploring how Picasso presents the horror of war. This question is interesting because he lived during a period of the main world conflicts.
In the painting, we see soldiers on the verge of executing women and children in Korea. Picasso produced the painting in 1951, at the height of the Korean War. Presumably, the soldiers attacked a village looking for guerilla fighters, but only found women and children. The metaphor of the painting wars is essentially genocide against defenseless women and children.
The women portrayed are pregnant leading to the question of who is responsible for the pregnancy. The men are hiding in the forest fighting which means soldiers raped the women and now they want to kill them. In the eyes of the artist, a war such as the Korean War transforms the male reproductive organs of combatants into weapons of intimidation and murder.
Most art tries to hide meaning by ignoring suffering by masking it with the optimism of living. In this painting, Picasso is transforming suffering into an art. The intention is to depict suffering in its most raw form so that it can express itself. This painting, therefore, is a great piece of art because it recreates the horror of war and its effect on women and children. It depicts men, who form the bulk of soldiers, as monsters.
Countries engage in wars for many reasons. The real antagonist in the Korean conflict was Soviet Russia and the United States over communism. The ideological nature of the conflict is absent the painting. Picasso apparently wants to show the war, regardless of the underlying issues in the contest, leads to death and suffering. He criticizes wars and their ideological causes because they threaten life itself and the survival of the human species . There is, therefore, no justification for war.
Wayne Thiebaud Lipstick, 1964
For this work, I am interested in exploring how Wayne views modern consumerist culture. This question is interesting because we are still living in a period where consumption for its sake is the most important thing.
Wayne Thiebaud is known for painting ordinary objects such as cakes, pastries, toys, lipsticks, etc. In "Lipstick," he has produced work typical of his style. The work shows a lipstick heavily pigmented with fabulous colors. We also see sharp shadows.
Wayne belongs to a class of artists known as pop artists whose primary interest is objects of mass culture. Working with Disney gave Wayne a strong background in pop art. His work, however, preceded the movement, suggesting that his keen sense of the changing culture primed him for the pop movement that emerged later. After the Second World War, the mass culture arose in America due to the emergence of high-income middle class riding on the economic prosperity of the 60s . For the ordinary person, the most important thing was dressing well, listening to music and eating food. Consumption of f...