ManRay‘’Minotaur’’ andFranz Marc “The Fate of theanimals"
FranzMarc artwork wasone of themostillustriouspaintersin Germany at thebeginningof the20th century.Marc wasinspiredby his motherto ventureinto painting.ThoughFranc touredmanyplacesespeciallyParis wherehewasintroducedto differentformsandstylesof artwork, hepracticeda uniquestylethat openthedoorforconceptual design(Moffitt,1).Ray’sartwork spannedfrom film,painting,sculptureandpoetry,butphotographing wasone of theareasthathemadetremendouscontributiontowards revolutionizingcontemporaryart.Rayachievedimmensesuccessin Europe andAmerica. His interactionwith otherartistsfrom Europe influencedhis styleof performinghis art.Specifically,Ray wasinfluencedby surrealism anddada stylesin makinghis piecesbefore andafter theFirstWorld War (Jim 1).This paper will seek to identify different forms and techniques usedby the two artists to create their pieces and exemplify thedifference and similarities in their artworks.
Franz’spainting‘’The Fate of Animals ‘’ is mostlydominatedby animalimages.Thispaintingconsistsof animalsthat cannot be seenrightawaysuchas horsesandfoxeswhich appearsplintered,as ifoneis lookingat them from a brokenmirror.Franc’s useof brightcolorsto paintdifferentaspects, which illustratesthathe attaches importanceon coloras a wayto expressdifferentphenomenonwithin thesocialsetup.Itappearsthateachcolorusedin thepaintinghada particularmeaning,themostconspicuousbeingred which depictslife.
Animalsaredepictedin their naturalhabitat.Theuseof dazzling andboldcolorsis akeyfeaturein Franz’s painting‘’The Fate of Animals’’. Heusesanimalsto showhis contemptforthecapitalist ideologythat haddestroyedthefabricthathad heldthesocietytogether.Differentanimalsin thepainting,forexample,thehorseandthefoxappearto be in painandagony.Heusesanimalsto showemotionsof theindividualswhowereopposedto American wayof lifeandwhobelievedthischangewould resultto warandpain.Rayemploysthestyleof snappingimagesthat offeredan undistorted lookof thesubject.Raymadethisphoto by manipulatingtherealobjecton thephotosensitive paper.Theoutlineof theobjectis whatis usedto createanimage.Thisstylecalledsolarization emphasizedon theinfluenceof lightandshadowin creatingandmanipulatingimagesto fitthedesiresof theartists.
WhileRay foundlightandshadowsimportantelementsin creatinghis piecesof art,Franz useddifferentcolorto makehis pieces.Bothartistsillustratetheprevailingsocialandpoliticalelementsin thesociety.Through’’ The Fate of Animals’’ Franz highlights theeminentwarthat would destroyeverything thatmanhadstruggledto achieve,on theotherhand,Rayhighlights theprevalentmalechauvinismthat wasprominentduring thisera.One of Ray famouspieceof artwork is the‘’Minotaur’’ which depictsa portraitof a man(from waistupwards), possiblythatof Ray orone of his friends.Thephotographof a masculinemanis usedto depictpowerandauthorityof man.Dadaism andsurrealism advocatedforliberationandcreationof newformsof artandchallengedoldandexistingideasof artandliterature.Itencouragednaturalness andartlessness.
Franzhas givenmeaningto differentcolorsthatheusesin the‘Fate of theAnimals.`Bluerepresentsspiritualstyleandmasculinity,Yellow andotherlightercolorsare usedto depictfemininity,red representswarandpain.TheFate of theAnimals is a paintingthat elicits intenseemotions.In the‘Fate of theAnimals’’ a buckingdeeris depictedwith a bluecolorencircledby pokesof harshcolors.Animalimageryis indispensablein Franz’s spiritualexpeditionsince hesawmanan uglybeing,because of theatrocitiesandharmfulactivities ontheplanet.Itappearsanimalsare moreappealing to him than humanbeingsbecausetheywerenot taintedwith complexities, compromisesandcontradictionsof humanlife(Moffitt3-4).
Onhis part,Rayuseshumanbeingsin his paintingto depictvariousaspectsof manactivitieson theearth’ssurface.In ‘’Minotaur’’ Ray collapseshumanandanimalinto a singleboundary.Unlike Franz,whousesanimalsto highlight his frustrationabout thecomplexity of humanbeings,Ray useshumanto exemplifyvariousaspectsof thehumanlife.Rayphotographscapturetherealappearanceofa man(Jim1).
The‘’Fate of theAnimals’’ through a processof generalization andsimplification drawstheinterestawayfrom thehumanbeingsandthematerialthingsof thehumanity.Franz advocatestheuniversalandtriesto findandaccordexpressionto thefundamentalnatureof things.Franz paintingsare a pleasingarrangementof colors,shapes,andforms,a signthattheartistwishfora healthierandmoremorallyhabituated world.
Thepaintingillustratesa calamitybefalling a forestandthejeopardythatthiscreatesto theanimalslivingin theforest.Despite thefrenzied visionof thepainting,Franz madeitin a controlled andstructured wayby usingintersecting diagonals. Theselinesservethree basicfunctionstheyperformthevitalroleof in thenarrativeof theartwork, offeran atmosphereof constantanxietyandimposea firmcompositional arrangement.
‘’TheFate of theAnimals’’ revealsFranz concernsabout thechallengesthatordinaryGermans werefacingduring his time. Philosophyideas andnationalismhadsubsequentlyledto aworldwaras Franz had indicated in his painting.In ‘’theFate of theAnimals’’ Franz is respondingto rejectionfrom thesocietywhich hefiguredas hopeless,soullessandmaterialistic.Franz washighlighting a societythat hadtotallylostits morals andinstitutionsthat hadbeenravagedby corruption.Fateof theAnimals is a precursorto theworldwarone andFranz usesthispaintingto highlights thenotionof sufferingthat would resultfrom man’srecklessness.Asa horrifyingflameengulfs theforestat thetopof thepaintingwhilefrightenedhorsessitbelow it.Thesamefatebefallstheboarsandthedeer’swhich seemmoreaccepting of theimpendingdangeranddestruction.Ontherightsidethere are a groupof foxesthat are watchingthedamagethatthefireis infringingon otheranimalsandvegetation
Thespiritual nature of Franz’s work is best illustrated by thepainting ‘’The Fate of the Animals’’. Marc pantheisticallyemploys color to symbolize different life events that had ravaged thesocial set up at the beginning of the 20thcentury and that subsequently led to the outbreak of world war one.Ray uses Dada and surrealism approach to create pleasant images ofman. The ‘’Minotaur’’ highlights male chauvism that existed at the beginningof the 20thcentury. While Franz is protesting against the complexity andmaterialistic nature of human life, Ray is illustrating humanphysique to highlight the various features that make man who is.
JimJ."Man Ray." Bio.A&E Television Networks, 2014. Web. 09 June 2014.
Moffitt,John F. "Fighting Forms: The Fate of the Animals."Artibus et Historiae 6/121985: Retrieved 09 June, 2014, from:http://www.purple-pony.com/disndat/FranzMarc_FateoftheAnimals_2009.pdf