Comparative Essay- Bearing Witness

Comparative Essay- Bearing Witness

Melanie Bugayong
Year 12 Art 09

Case Study 2.2
Using the Conceptual Framework as a method to interpret art, evaluate the significance of art that bears witness, art that represents reactions to world events

Many artist that create artworks intentionally step into the art-world to enable themselves to interpret their personal feelings, past experiences, views or opinions in a visual and upfront way as means of presenting themselves as true witnesses. This creates a world where the audience is allowed to understand and analyze different dimensions of meaning through symbols, and representations as it also lures them to critique a visual appeal (how powerful the artwork is constructed/presented (abstract, contemporary, traditional)). Artist such as Christianto, Gittoes, Picasso and Neshat, all set aside a form of art that express personal feelings or statements towards certain world events or political issues.

Pablo Picasso gives out that his art bears witness significantly by the images he creates. We can see this through his infamous mural produced, the “Guernica”, as well as the journal of images he developed really show his journey of being an eyewitness regarding his feelings and responses to the bombings of the small town in Spain, Guernica. He uses his techniques and methods of art-making in the form of cubism to represent the city as a whole and what atmosphere it had grew to be. This is his way of expressing the significance of his artworks through the way he challenges the audience with the slightly distorted images joined together e.g. the crying woman grieving for her child. They all show a form of discomfort and anxiety through the extended and extreme lines to build emphasis on the impact these political issues has put upon him. Reasons of such significance in his artworks are the different parts of the mural he drew before-hand which was photographed/documented by Picasso’s partner, Maar as it obviously points out his journey of turning...

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