what is public art?
I chose These three artists because they used similar elements in their arrangement of their artworks. Their drawing technique, subject matter and themes have inspired me for a long time. These artists have a classical drawing background and they distorted human figures in creating their own styles.
Picasso’s common theme are rooted in violence, pain and victims, for example in Guernica’s paintings. Most of his figures are distorted impressively and have their own characters. I believe Picasso chose to paint Guernica using a monochromatic palette of gray for the purpose of color study in black and white gradation. He use original newspaper reports and photographs from the tragedy of war to create texture in creative ways. His artwork has many similarities with Dia Azzawi artwork in the way he uses the subject matter, the way he uses black and white elements.
Pablo Picasso, Guernica
Dia Azzawi works on political concepts and distorts his figures to express the intensity and the heavy feeling of the people in war. His works are similar with Picasso’s in the way he uses pure geometry and negative space. Both these two artists are from different countries but their work influences one anther. His subject in “Mission of Destruction" artwork is a form of protest against the destruction of the country in the 2003 occupation: the destruction of many institutions, colleges, and museums in Iraq. Another example a work he made after a close friend of his was murdered in 1972 by Mossad and in these drawings he explores the condition of statelessness and particularly the effect it has on the individuals. He represents himself as a witness and his art is a voice for others.
Ibrahim El Salhi
Ibrahim El Salhi is an influential Sudanese artist in the history of art using simple and dynamic drawings where he combines people, abstract shapes and Arabic calligraphy. He uses a variety of symbolic and universal elements, and portray animals, humans and plants in distorted forms thus giving a strength to his expression in his artwork. His concepts are challenging to express, it is concepts of war chaos, exposing the brutal acts of destruction and genocide. His artwork is distinctive and is similar with that of Picasso’s and Azzawi’s works in that he also works on power struggles and also in drawing and powerful composition. There are remarkable connections in the way they use monochromatic palettes, subject mater and powerful messages. In the end, these three artists are use strong drawing techniques and they are a voice for people.
C. How my work relates with these artists?
I made this piece called Genesis a few years ago. It is similar to the works of these artists in that it also is made from monochromatic grey, black and white tones. It is an oversized piece like some of their works. The concept is one that addresses a universal question (where we come from) and the artists mentioned above also depicted universal themes although different in subject (struggle, strife, war). I am preparing to make some artworks where my theme will be also on narratives around war and also my drawing technique will be playful, fun full of contrasts distortions with a theatrical representation. My goal is to be a voice of anti-war messages without being gruesome and giving an objective presentations of the wages of war. In looking at Guernica, a person will notice the drawing technique. When a very heavy subject is portrayed in a theatrical manner, It will help with removing the biases of the viewer and just take them to a space in their mind where they can consider the atrocities of war.
Concept of the work
My current works will be on narratives on the recent tragedies of war in Ethiopia as many people are dying and are living in very difficult situations. Sufferings have been politicized with biased media coverage. As I am from the same country, I feel strongly about relaying their stories. My big piece will be called Maikadra, after one of the places where the atrocities took place. Below are my experimental sketches.