Visual Art Analysis Paper Essay
Visual Art Analysis Paper
Webster’s Dictionary defines Aesthetics as the branch of philosophy dealing with such notions as the beautiful, the ugly, the sublime, the comic, etc. , as applicable to the fine arts, with a view to establishing the meaning and the validity of critical judgments concerning works of art, and the principles underlying or justifying such judgments or the study of the mind and emotions in relation to the sense of beauty. The Dream of La Malinche is aesthetically pleasing despite the fact that I tend to not be attracted to Surrealism. However this artwork told a story that made me curious to find out who La
Malinche really was? My first reaction to this artwork is to notice that the room that she is lying in is dark and shabby with exposed brick and a crack in the wall. Was this woman poor or was she labeled as not deserving better? Is this the aesthetically ugly side of life? Dark walls, broken woman. Yet sprawled on her hip is a beautiful church towering over a village in a fertile valley below. Aesthetically beautiful. Prosperity visible in the village and valley, and poverty in the room that La Malinche lies in. What a contrast! Denis Dutton (Aesthetic Universals), a philosopher identified seven universal traits for human
aesthetics. He claimed that technical artistic skills are cultivated and recognized. These skills can be admired. Though people admire art they do not expect it to keep food on their table. But it is expected to follow the rules of composition and to be identified as a certain style. Artwork will always be judged, and with few exceptions art will simulate life. Follow our experiences in life yet with a dramatic flair. Based on these traits La Malinche is beautifully orchestrated and very obviously a combination of a folk story and surrealism. Compared to other works by this
artist, this particular painting tells a true story, a meaningful story that has played a part in this artist’s life. Visual Arts 3 Expression At the beginning of the 19th century, artists began to express their feelings through their art rather than through the faces painted on a canvas. The real La Malinche was thought to be a hero by some and a traitor by others. Mother of the Mestizo race and harlot to Cortez the explorer. Mexican artwork of this period tended to combine a woman with fertile land to express fertility to the viewer, so I believe this is some of what the artist was also trying to portray.
I also love the symbolism between the mountains painted on her hip versus an actual mountain in Mexico named La Malinche. As I studied about Antonio Ruiz, he was referred to several times as a folk art artist besides being a surrealist. I think this art expresses his love for the history of his people and tells their story more adequately than words can express. I dare to call him a surrealist because I do not see where he is avoiding the unpleasantness of the life by wearing rose colored glasses. I feel that he is expressing the truth of the situation and the beauty that can
be found amidst ugliness, accusations and tales. However Woman in World Histories Primary Sources claims the Malinche’s body is the ground supporting an unnamed village and church and her image is to invoke female Aztec deities. The metaphor is the Mexican nation is built on the groundwork of Malinche’s actions. So what expressive qualities does this painting have? The mood language is mysterious. It invokes curiosity. The dynamic state is intense and provoking. The Ideal language would be compassion, courage and fearlessness. Sensation This painting provokes a strong emotion in me.
I am not sure that I would label it anger, but I feel a sense of injustice rise up inside me. I understand what the artist was trying to portray in this painting but I also know how I interpret this painting. In my interpretation I want to fight for the dignity of this woman who is treated with obvious disrespect based on the condition of Visual Arts 4 the room in which she lies while a village in a valley appears prosperous. And yet I feel an animosity toward the people who do not recognize the contribution that she made to their society or the number of lives that were probably spared.
I feel the history of this story and the artist’s emotions. I feel that the woman in the bed carries a huge load on her shoulders. You can almost feel her despair and have to wonder what heart ache she carries within. Does this prosperous village in the valley sit ignorant of the sacrifices of this fearless woman? This woman instills hope and compassion and a sense of empowerment. It’s like being on an emotional rollercoaster yet the lines of this painting is also like a rollercoaster. The round mountain peaks, the curving roads and the rolling sheets over the woman. The curvy scrolls of
the wrought iron bed all encompass this feeling of being on a rollercoaster. Formal Design This painting has been labeled as Surrealism. Surrealism was supposedly born from the Dada Movement. This “Dada Movement” was a banding together of artists who sought refuge from World War I in Europe. As they banded together they became like our early day protestors. Their art, poetry and music reflected their anti-war cries. After the war people wanted to get away from the intensity of darkness that so many paintings depicted and they wanted something to help them escape the everyday reality.
So Surrealism became a way for them to combine dreams and fantasy with some reality. The Principles for all design are Unity, Balance, Dominance, Repetition, Rhythm, Contrast and Theme. There is a unity between the woman living in poverty and the prosperous village. Can there be prosperity without poverty? Or can there be poverty without prosperity? If the prosperous mountain were removed all this art would speak about is poverty. La Malinche would appear as a poor woman on a bed. Would you be curious about her Visual Arts 5 circumstances or would you feel compelled to look away?
If La Malinche was removed from the painting you would just have a prosperous village living in a valley. A beautiful fairytale painting. Because the elements of this painting need each other and have unity, this painting has balance. The mountain on La Malinche’s hip gives this painting symmetry. It becomes almost the fulcrum of the painting. Everything balances around the central part of this painting. The mountain, the prosperity takes a dominant position in this painting which could suggest her success in rising above adversity. The rhythm in
this painting would be the flow of the village across the sheets, and the flow of the sheets across the woman. There is this continuous theme flowing out from the village. The poverty, the dark room and the woman contrast with the light of the village and it’s prosperity. Each of these principals come together to form the theme of poverty and prosperity. Lightness and Dark. Realism and Surrealism. Technical Properties The Dream of La Malinche is painted on canvas with oils. If skill is truly based on the artists portrayal of his picture, than Ruiz has truly surpassed all other artists in portraying
the history and story of this heroic figure. He has an incredible sense of color. And this painting reflects his own personal view on this historical figure. The lightening bolt (or crack in the wall as I call it) has depth to it. This painting does not have the usual bulkiness that you so often see in oil paintings. As an artist Antonio Ruiz is known for his draftsmanship skills. He is considered a great painter of small works and respected for his aesthetic quality. Visual Arts 6 References Dutton, D. , Aesthetic Universals Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Definition of Aesthetics
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