My task this week was to research an artist that was considered to be ‘degenerate’ by the Nazi regime. I have picked Otto Dix. Otto was a born bread German who was an artist and a printmaker. He was targeted not for doing anything against the law but for creating artwork that was seemed to be not ‘proper’. Artist that had drew or painted art like this got publicised and mocked. To be honest its completely ridiculous in my own opinion that thousands of people just took one persons word, but then again if you did speak out, you too would be punished and victimised. It was a horrible time for most people, and nearly every area of life got changed. Even Jazz music was deemed as degenerate, crazy.
Hitler was a failed artist which is why I personally think he had it in for many artist that didn’t follow the appropriate trend. If any of the art went against Hitler or the Nazi’s, anything that didn’t support the case was seen as a crime. Drawing a picture was a crime, It’s disgusting, many people including artist did get killed and its a very touchy subject. Some got taken to death camps, and work camps.
Hitler also hated Modernism, anything abstract and it was nothing, completely filth. The Nazis claimed that the degenerate art was the product of the Jews and Bolsheviks.
The Nazis tried to make out that this art work was created to go against the Germans. They did this by creating exhibitions showing of appropriate artwork and degenerate artwork. Hitler had two specific Hitler thought was brilliant it included nude woman, blondes, and soldiers. Oh what a surprise. The other exhibition had art that included modernist, and abstract, it was hung and presented in such a way to encourage negativity! It was cruel on many artist as it was humiliating to be targeted they way they did. It was damaging to society as people were practically forced to believe it was true. It made many artist flee to safer areas and even countries.
Okay back to Otto, I have looked at some of his art and I have chosen these three specific pieces.
First one was War Cripples. I really like the textures used in this image, and the patterns. The floor is one of the first things I look at. He users a lot of dark tones which really makes the art feel cold. I think it represents everything that happens in the war, he definitely achieved it. This makes the war seem pointless as it is just killing and crippling men and its the exact reason Hitler didn’t like it as it was putting a bad ‘light’ on the war!
The second piece is called Salon. It too does not represent the war in the greatest light, it shows, death, blood, and horror. It is very dark and the tones are consist with the atmosphere he has tried to achieve. He has used a slight colour to enhance detail but its very light! This artwork is more detailed and realistic compared to the one I have just looked at.
last but not least is Ecce Homo, this is very dark it has so much going on, the colours are bright, sticking, and tells a detailed story. It looks like Jesus, and he is suffering but the look of his face and the cuts all over his body. Otto is trying to portray in my eyes, suffering, suffering that is dark and cold. I Like the use of texture he was used in the background and colour. I think sometimes colour can make artwork too in your face but It works extremely well here. I think the Nazis were intimidated by Ottos work and so they should of been, it represented something that was real and right, he painted pain, and terror. Something that the Nazis did not want there perfect Germany to see. Or find out.