Artistic Response to War

War Pieta |  Max Ginsburg’s Paintings |  Michaelangelo – Pieta

Max Ginsburg is a convicted artist who paints realistic images that hold tight to his beliefs and interests.  He draws his inspiration from great artists such as Goya and Picasso.  In most of his work, he focuses on people in various situations.  Several of his pieces deal with his views on war, but this painting stood out to me the most.  ”War Pieta” was unveiled in 2007, as the conflict in the Middle East has been droning on.

It isn’t difficult to see that Max Ginsburg is against war and all facets of conflict.  He is a firm believer in peace and justice for all.  What is most admirable about Max Ginsburg is that he uses his work to convey such strong convictions, hoping to spur others to think and act upon them as well.

In this piece, a mother is seen crying out in agony, as her son lies wounded in her arms on the battlefield.  The destruction in the background, the barren ground and the dark colors seen throughout the piece symbolize the infinitely damaging effects that war has on the environment.  Not only does war effect the Earth, but as seen in this masterpiece, families have to pay for the loss of their loved ones.  Nearly everyone knows someone, or knows of someone, in the military.  This sense of connection to the painting makes it even more real to the viewer.  The death, pain and anguish caused by war can be felt by those in contact with this painting.  It is this commonality we share that allows us the ability to sympathize with the mother.  The devastation of losing a child, particularly in such a violent way, has profound and lasting effects.   The bright red blood,  the American Flag, and the soldier’s uniform that is so widely known serve to draw attention to the horror of the man’s demise.

Max Ginsburg has sought to liken this work of art to Michaelangelo’s masterpiece “Pieta”.  In this image (link found at the top), the Madonna (thought to be Mary) holds Jesus in her arms after he has died on the cross.  The same idea is shown in both pieces, that a mother is having to deal with the death of their child.  However in Michaelangelo’s sculpture, the Madonna is not pained but rather has a look of peace about her.  The mother in Max Ginsburg’s “War Pieta” is definitely distraught over the cruel way her son has been killed.  This allusion to such a well known piece of art helps to emphasize the point of the painting, while drawing more people in to view it.

The image and information for this blog was taken from: http://www.maxginsburg.com/index.html & http://unfoldingcreativity.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/pieta-michelangelo.jpg.

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