"Tropas Avancando Sob Gas" by otto dix taken from: arsrhetorica/wordpress.com
This work by Otto Dix is my favorite "art piece" at the moment. I love the use of line in this illustration. He creates a dark and scary world on paper. The work really gives you the feeling that the world is going to end and your life is over. I think that death or the knowledge of being at death's doorstep is one of the strongest feelings one will ever feel. This feeling however comes along few times in one's life and here Dix has captured it perfectly. when you closely study this work you will see that the perfect attention is given to each character.By attention I do not mean over attention. The characters are mostly rough sketches comparatively to Dix's other work.I think this however helps the overall character of the piece giving it a rough and haggard look helping the overall message as stated above.
This work will also become more meaningful to you if you take into consideration the time period and the state of Germany and central European counties during this era. Right after world war one was a horrible time for Europe, and a great depression plagued Germany(Otto Dix's homeland) after the war. I think this can be clearly seen in this and other works by Dix. a new weapon to our world (mustard gas) was unleashed during this great and horrible conflict.this is refferenced by Dix's use of gas masks on the soldiers seen in the work. I think this even extenuates the figures "scariness" by giving them a sickeningly non human appearance. Other horrors of war are also pictured in this work such as a grenade and barbed wire things relatively new to the modern battlefield.
This work clearly reflects the horrible and painful hardships of Dix's time. I think we can also carry the meaning and feeling of this work to our everyday life in that we are in a war time society,people are dieing and pain is still felt as it was in 1924. We are so cut off from our war over oil that we loose a conscience feeling towards the people sacrificing themselves for our once great nation. We care more about Hollywood and cellphones that we do about real culture and real things that will effect our future. My advice to people of my own generation is to slow down, look at your world, and make steps to make your life not fall into the horrible pattern of youth today. you will learn more from a great novel or a great art work such as this that you could ever learn from TMZ or Ellen(however there is nothing wrong with Ellen, good comedy is good comedy). This piece makes me wonder why our lives have not been skewed by these once unthinkable things. This work is all in all a reflection to me of the past and therefore what our great future should have been. Instead we where immediately sprung into world war two and then into the slums of modern America. I hope I did not lose those who disagree with me because of my very opinionated banter. I only wish to stop and think about society as form and function(like art) and to help others do the same. When you die it wont matter what dig screen you had or what lab top you could buy. It will matter what you spent your time doing, viewing and being. So live it up have fun and always remember to stop and smell the roses even if your roses are German soldiers with grenades at the ready.