Guernica by Pablo Picasso 1937
Whilst looking at the painting the recognition process is slowed down, you question the painting thinking about its context. There is also the question of light and dark or to whether the painting is placed inside a room or outside. But not all of the shapes or characters are on the same level. Picasso wanted to create something that would stand up for the people of Guernica, using the different events that impelled him.
In groups we had to come up with our own manifesto, our’s being Racism. Using Picasso’s Guernica painting as our inspiration we started to collect some ideas. We decided that using arms and hands showing different symbols would be effective so that the idea of unity would be portrayed in the piece. The idea was to have the arms coming out of two boxes on both ends of the page, making the person who’s looking at the painting question the idea. All the arms lead up to the two faces at the top of the page, one white face and one black, both heads look as if they’re being strangled or pulled down by the hands. We wanted to give the impression that racism still exists and that it affects many people across the world.
Similar to Picasso’s work there are different symbols and images that represent different things, and we wanted to do the same in ours. We decided to paint a broken arm tied down with chains to show that people have protested and have been punished for their race. The bull was a comical piece to show how racism isn’t always taken seriously and the candle showing how there is always light in the end of everything.
The final piece
Overall I am very happy with the outcome, and think that the group worked really well to create a symbolic and meaningful piece. I think that the contrast between light and dark has also been very visually successful, whilst also using a similar composition to Picasso’s Guernica. If I was to do another project like this I would have liked to use more of my Graphic Communication skills and possibly used different media like screen printing or letterpress.