Friday, August 15, 2014

Alan Serna contra: Leopoldo Mendez

Revolution gives birth to great artists, and Leopoldo Mendez is no exception. With revolutionary imagery comes strong and moving text to accompany it. When looking for a well executed combination of both elements very few come close Leopoldo. His work, unlike the artists mentioned in prior blog posts,  has an inherent energy and drive that is reflected in the rendering of his subject matter through loose yet deliberate mark making ( evident more so in his lithographs than his relief prints).

I feel too, that the lack of color demands more of Leoplodo's work. Relying more on line and value, his characters have to fight and at the same time work harmoniously with the positive and negative areas of the composition in order to bring together a compelling narrative that hits home immediately. Why the need for such rapid uptake? Because these images are mass produced, they need to be attention grabbing, hard hitting, and meaningful. In that sense, Leopoldo is firing on all six(cylinders).

First Comes the image and then the text. While the text was of paramount importance with these revolutionary images, I am still at a loss when I am confronted by incorporating text into my pieces. Whether it be a subscript  on the print itself or presented on a separate page as a book I feel like for my work, the text would compete too much with the imagery. Furthermore, while I do want the viewer to understand, and  or, see the narrative behind my work, I don't want it to come easily and with the same immediacy that Leoplodo's work does. I want the viewer to stick around and keep reading into the work.

torches benito juarez 2 works by leopoldo mendez

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