Sunday, February 21, 2010

"Fighting educative art for all"

"Art must no longer be the expression of individual satisfaction (which) it is today, but should aim to become a fighting educative art for all." -Siqueiros

Reading about caricature and illustrations during the rule of George III this painting came to my mind. The New Democracy(1944) was painted by Jose David Alfaro Siqueiros, in the Palace of fine Arts in Mexico City. Siqueiros was a Mexican painter/muralist- which much like the printers during the reign of King George, saw the everyday struggles of the working and rural poor- he understood the seperation of classes and gave his voice in the artistic world to those who were not being heard. Although this is not a satirical view point, his morals are grotesqly depicted within this female character. There is no allegory here, he faces the issue of oppression and exploitation head- on.

His reinterpretation of classical painting was infused with the age of the machine- modernism along with the call for a reformation. The symbolism in this mural is much like that of Hogarth- the torch representing the light to move forward and the chains which represent bondage. His figure is exaggerated having more than two limbs, and the emotion is depicted in the crying out in the face. The movement within the frame is on-going. as was the constant struggle to reform the Mexican Government.

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