Jose Clemente Orozco's Zapatistas - Essay Example

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The essay analyzes Jose Clemente Orozco's Zapatistas. Generally, painting is considered as an innovative medium that helps artists to share their opinions with the viewers. But viewers interpret paintings differently because they perceive the same differently. …
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Jose Clemente Orozcos Zapatistas
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Interpreting a painting Generally, painting is considered as an innovative medium that helps artists to share their opinions with the viewers. But viewers interpret paintings differently because they perceive the same differently. Within this scenario, Jose Clemente Orozco’s artworks are renowned for the inherent symbolism and inculcation of revolutionary spirit within art. Thesis statement: In the artwork Zapatistas (1931), the Mexican artist named as Jose Clemente Orozco portrays an incident related to Mexican Revolution, and its interpretation proves that the artist is aware of the proper balancing of different components of art.
The painting (see appendix-1) is symbolic of the painter’s deep interest in national politics, especially the revolutionary spirit of the followers of the Mexican revolutionary, named as Emiliano Zapata. In the painting, the revolutionaries are captured by the dictator’s (say, Porfirio Diaz) soldiers. Donve Lee states that, “The Zapatistas were freedom fighters in Mexico” (11). The dressing, cap, and swords in the painting symbolize dictatorship. On the other side, the womenfolk and the other human figure (leaning in front of the soldiers) is symbolic of marginalization faced by the mass. From a different angle of view, the artwork can be considered as a valuable tribute to Emiliano Zapata and his supporters in general. In short, the painter makes use of his artwork as an innovative medium to portray the atrocities related to dictatorship. Besides, this artwork can be considered as a tribute to the revolutionary spirit of the suppressed class.
One can see that interpretation helps a viewer to perceive an artwork from a different angle of view. The artwork consists of different figures (animate and inorganic) in different sizes. To be specific, the rocks and hill in the artwork is symbolic of inorganic objects in different sizes. On the other side, the horses and human figures represent life in different sizes. These objects/figures in different sizes provide proper balancing to the artwork. The upright, parallel, and slanting lines indebted to the figures provide proper rhythm to the artwork as a whole. To be specific, the swords, caps, and dress in the artwork results in wave like rhythm in the artwork. Besides, the painter is deeply interested in the usage of contrasting colors in the artwork. The different shades of dark brown, blue, and yellow are used in the artwork. This is helpful to project the focal point (armed soldiers, captured revolutionaries, and women) as the central figure.
Personal opinion
In my opinion, the artwork is symbolic of the artist’s view of human life. The artist considers that vegetative life without intellectual development is wastrel. In addition, one must be ever ready to protect one’s individual rights. Still, the painting portrays how dictators can crush the self-confidence of the mass. Beyond the artistic elements, I like this artwork because the same is symbolic of the social responsibility of art.
Summing, Orozco’s artwork is symbolic of the influence of art, which can be used as an innovative medium for social criticism. One can see the artist is influenced by Mexican Revolution, and the same is evident in his artwork. Besides, the artist does not ignore the scope of the components of art that forces the viewers to ponder upon the same. In short, the artwork can be considered the amalgamation of the artist’s social responsibility and artistic craftsmanship.

Works Cited
Lee, Donve. Peter Clarke: Following Dreams and Finding Fame. Kelvin: Awareness Publishing, 2006. Print.
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