Artist’s politic involvement and influence

About six months ago I created a body-painting in the colors Yellow and Blue. Some people asked me then, probably because it was three weeks after the invasion of Russia to Ukraine, if this was my reaction to this war. Well, it wasn’t. It is just a coincidence, that the Ukrainian flag has the same colors as the colors which the model has been painted, just upside down. My call, some weeks before the war, to Putin to prevent the planned invasion was neglected. Obviously, but to my regret. Look how the world changed meanwhile. There are only losers, like most cases.

Through many centuries, wars were often used by artists to glorify the winners. I don’t know if they were assignments given by the warlords, or fear of artists to be identified as uncooperative. In any case, this attitude changed in the 19th century, when Francisco Goya documented in 82 prints Disasters of War. For the first time in history, viewers could realize how ugly and horrifying is war. No praise to the winners but disgusting of cruelty which people carried in them. Goya showed hopeless civilians, who suffered just because they belonged to the losing side.

In the 20th Century this tendency continued. Famous is the painting of Pablo Picasso “Guernica”. His protest was more delicate than the paintings of Goya. Nevertheless, it didn’t stop the civil war in Spain, which was followed by the horrible Second World War. Much worse than the war itself was the chance Hitler took during this war to eliminate the Jews of Europe. Among the six million Jewish victims of his awful madness were all four grandparents of mine.

There were survivors of the Holocaust who documented their impressions in paintings and sculptures. It is their own decision to do that and it might serve as therapy, except as a natural protest.

Despite the trauma I nor participating in this genre, neither take part of other political discussions as an artist. The lesson which I have learned from the attempts of Goya and Picasso is, that the artistic protest has no use. Artists opinion is not considered more valuable than the opinion of, lets say, scientists, drivers or gardeners.  My method is focusing on the opposite: making beautiful things, not ugly or horrifying. People need it for keeping up their spiritual welfare, just as I need it. Live and let live in peace, happiness and harmony!

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