People aren’t touched by issues like climate change and feel no desire to help even though it directly affects them. Portraying this in form of art can spur thinking or even action. This shows that art is a mode of communication through which multiple people across the world can share views, opinions or even ideologies. Global issues like climate change, famine and others can be portrayed through art with the expectation of action from the viewers and because of this art has become one of the most common ways to address global issues, in other words, in order for there to be a change, an artist usually has to first express his views on the issues.
The painting depicts the overnight bombing of the Spanish city of Guernica in 1937. Most people may classify this as a political painting but Picasso wanted it to show how the world is changing for the worst. The painting portrays the devastating and chaotic impact war has on people.
The Spanish bombing of 1937 had Picasso concerned with the evolution of mankind for the worse so painted to highlight the heights mankind has reached. Picasso managed to effectively portray his ideas through the use of color, value and shape. The use of multiple shapes and the colors black and white makes this a chaotic painting that symbolizes the chaos during the bombing. (Strickson, 2016)
Andy Warhol (1928-1987) was a leading figure in the Pop Art movement. His work responded to the mass-media culture of the 1960s and his paintings like Campbell’s soup cans make him one of the most famous artists of his generation. Warhol used more advanced methods like silkscreen printing to produce most of his work. He liked mass media and saw his work as a direct connection to the American culture. His pop-art legacy continues to inspire multiple forms of aesthetic expression. (Masterworks fine art, 2018)
In 1983, Warhol created a series of 10 paintings which was to raise awareness about endangered species. Animals like the Siberian tiger are being poached for their skin and their population on the planet is massively declining. No one rises up to try and stop the increasing poaching of animals so Warhol took it up to himself to change people’s perspectives not only on the Siberian tiger but to other endangered species so that people can take it up to themselves to try and protect these animals. To the left is a painting of a Siberian tiger that still runs the risk of extinction. Warhol used his pop art style to create this painting and the major elements that he used were color, temperature and line. Temperature and line are used specifically to draw the viewer’s attention to the animal and color makes the animal more visible to the viewer. The use of warm colors brings out the viewer’s feeling of affection which makes sense due to the fact that this painting is to raise awareness on the extinction of animals like the Siberian tiger. (Rile, 2016) This series had a national impacted and it is evident to the fact that since the creation of the series, two animals were removed from the list as a result to the awareness that was created from Warhol’s work.
Michael Soi (Born 1972 in Nairobi) lives and works in Kenya and is one of the leading contemporary painters. Most of his paintings focus on social-political issues such as political impunity, greed and Kenya’s growing sex industry. He was inspired by the city of Nairobi and due to this, his artwork mainly explores the relationships of people living there. (Michael Soi – Artist’s profile – Paintings for sale, n.d.)
The art piece titled ‘China loves Africa 7’ is one of the paintings of his series ‘China loves Africa’ where he portrays how Chinese are exploiting Kenya. In this specific painting, it shows Chinese holding elephant tusks which is a direct reference to the allegations that the Chinese have been poaching in order to obtain tusks (Michael Soi’s art draws wrath of Chinese, 2014) The main aim of this painting was to raise awareness of the fact that Kenya is being exploited by the Chinese. The Chinese have been exploiting Kenya for many years for multiple things including labor and a steady supply of elephant tusks for ivory to make their goods. This is all because Kenya owes a huge debt to the Chinese for their involvement in the construction of major infrastructure for example highways and more recently, the Standard Gauge Railway. They know that it would take Kenya a long time to pay this debt back so they take advantage and use Kenya as they please. For this particular painting, Michael mainly used the element of shape and the principle of variety to emphasize that the people painted are Chinese and to show that what they are holding are tusks. Michael Soi’s work has clearly had an impact because it has spurred thought of the Chinese actual intentions with Kenya.
Soi and Warhol had similar intentions because their work raises concerns about animals. On the contrary, Warhol’s main intention was to raise awareness about endangered species while Soi wanted to raise awareness of the fact that Chinese poach elephants in Kenya for tusks. The way the produce their paintings is quite different as well. Warhol uses the pop art approach meaning that his work has more color to it while Soi uses the cartoonist approach so his work is more of shape and line than Andy Warhol’s. Andy Warhol’s desire to create his paintings came from a personal love of animals which is different from Michael Soi’s because his work is inspired by what happens in his country. Judging the artworks, Michael Soi mainly uses cool colors while Andy Warhol uses warm one’s and this is quite evident in their work. Because of this, Andy Warhol’s work is more emotional. This is his approach to achieving his goal while Michael Soi uses a more logical approach which explains why he doesn’t use warm colors since they provoke emotion. Overall, I think that the decision to which painting is better is completely opinionative because different people have different perspectives but I think Andy Warhol’s painting is better simply because his approach looks more effective since it targets the viewer’s emotions to raise awareness.
I strongly believe that Andy Warhol’s and Michael Soi’s artworks positively created a change in the world because they both addressed major issues and induced thought through their work in order to make a difference and because of this research, I have drawn inspirations from Andy Warhol on how to effectively raise awareness through a painting and I have learnt that artists have the power to make a difference to the world through the use of art and their own ideologies and this has enabled me to realize the impact art has on the world.
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Painters and climate change issue. (2019, Nov 27). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/painters-and-climate-change-issue-essay