Color in Life

"Everybody thinks they know what art should be. But very few of them have the sense that is necessary to experience painting, that is the sense of sight, that sees colors and forms as living reality in the picture.”

"I'm not that obsessed with making representations of ugliness. Everything I've seen is beautiful..”—Otto Dix

During World War I one of the German combatants was an artist, Otto Dix. A volunteer and a good standard of a soldier. He won merit, medals, and survived to the end. His life wasn’t taken from him but it was altered because of the experience. Today we call it PTSD and for him it was nightmares of haunted combat, crawling in rubble without escape. It could have destroyed him inside and out, but it added another type of color to his living out life.

Stormtroops advancing under a gas attack 1924, of the British Museum

Stormtroops advancing under a gas attack 1924, of the British Museum

Otto Dix  Self-Portrait with Easel  1926. Leopold-Hoesch-Museum & Papiermuseum Düren. Photo: Peter Hinschläger

Otto Dix Self-Portrait with Easel 1926. Leopold-Hoesch-Museum & Papiermuseum Düren. Photo: Peter Hinschläger

Some of the work he did was gruesome and ugly. An alternate reality that I haven’t experienced and hope I never will. The thing that gives me courage is that he didn’t stop living and stop creating his art. The effects can be seen but the desire to keep painting continued even through WWII and the Nazis censoring of Otto’s work.

The experience of war added a new color to his life pallet I think a deep color like black or gray which can make stuff look dirty, dull, or unclean. My thought also is the deep color adds depth, dimension, and perspective that couldn’t happen without it. The deep dark color and shading of Stormtroopers Advancing Under Gas Attack make the light colored masks pop. Telling us the value of the struggle to live by the men involved. Darkness says there is light. A light that is here and is always here. Knowledge of the light gives us strength to live even in dire circumstances.

I find myself not working and writing during a reoccurring back injury sustained years ago that I have to learn to live with when it gets my attention. Its annoying and can be debilitating. But…. I can still live and have it color my steps with depth, dimension, and perspective for me and those near me. So I will put on my mask of light and go on to get through this gas and to eventually breath in clean air.

Peace