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George Gittoes White Earth Essay

George Gittoes’ art piece, White Earth is a dramatic oil on canvas depicting the political corruption a 15 year old boy had been pressured into.

Gittoes, the renowned Australian artist has always created his pieces by inspiration of his life experiences. He has an immense passion for art and humanity so being an eye witness to suffrage of humanity all over the world is conveyed in his work.

White Earth is another successful and captivating work. Gittoes was witness to an Afrikaaner – Weerstands Beweging (AWB) Rally in South Africa of April 1994, where he saw a 15 year old boy submerged in the propaganda of Nazi in youths. The young boy gets on the stage silent with resentment as photographers begin to infinitely snap at him. Gittoes’ sympathy for the boy is emphasized as he retells them “raping and torturing” him. Too young to understand the political corruption he is stuck between being used by the ABW and being tortured by the international press.

Trapped, as the victim of this controversial saga, his only escape is to close his eyes, however it is impossible to close his to ears to the Hate Speech delivered by Terre Blanche. Gittoes sympathized for his entrapment and compelling distressed state, so he depicts and dramatically distorts this experience through the art piece, White Earth.

Being one to love expressionism, his passion for it gives meaning to convey and express emotions and feelings. He exaggerates the boy giving specific detail and emphasis to his ears. The distortion of his ears expresses the impossibility of closing his now larger ears. The figure to the right is racist Terre Blanche driving the propaganda into him, taking advantage of his naïve and young position.

Distinct lines and vibrant colours on the boys face determine his resentment and struggle in his entrapment of what is around him.

Once again George Gittoes amazes us with his brilliant techniques and skills. The strokes and their positioning all are part of his meaning in this sad piece. Distortion not only occurs in his ears but all over his body, he appears larger as if we had grown up, Gittoes portraying his growth is too fast and unnatural due to the boy’s youth and already ‘political career’.

White Earth along with many of George Gittoes’ work depicts inhumanity, suffrage and the struggle of people everywhere. It is on of his best works portraying the struggle of a boy stuck between two corruptions and expressing his longing to escape the entrapment. Art lovers all over the world have passion for this renowned piece and those hating suffrage and inhumanity will also be touched by this intricate story ever so sad yet breathtaking piece, by the profound and magnificent George Gittoes.

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