George Grosz self-portrait

George Grosz self-portrait
George Grosz self-portrait

The painterGeorge Grosz(1893 – 1959) is considered not only a magnificent artist, but can also be seen as a fabulous chronicler of the interwar period in the country of he,Germany. Although his beginnings as a painter were closer to avant-garde forms, the truth is that even in his most recent period he did not stop being a figurative creator and very attached to the social reality of his time.


Grosz Self Portrait "Attention"

As a young man he traveled toParis, and there he took the opportunity to learn about the work of painters such asFrancisco de GoyauHonoré Daumier. And although originally he had an initial vocation closer to drawing and caricature, he was soon approaching formats more akin to expressionist painting. Even more so after his brief participation as a soldier in theWorld War I, an episode that marked not only him, but all of Germany as losers in that conflict

Like other painters from his country, his art became very pessimistic and even apocalyptic. Something that is evident in his famous visions of violent and chaotic cities as in his painting Metropolis.

In parallel, his political ideology was drifting towards the left and social concerns. In fact, he became a soldier in the Communist Party and traveled to theSoviet Union, although it is true that he was not completely passionate about what he saw in that country.

So he went back to Germany, which was then going through a political period called the Weimar Republic. It was in those years when his painting mixed caricatures and the grotesque with a clearly denouncing intention. Which led to a new style called New Objectivity. An absolutely figurative painting that seeks to capture reality, not in terms of form, but in terms of content. In other words, he did not hesitate to portray the ugliest and the problems of German society in those years.

Groszhe was becoming more of a political artist, and was almost ahead of his time. Therefore, he saw what was coming. So much so that he warned of the threat posed by the incipient National Socialism inspired by a certainAdolf Hitler. And for example this self-portrait from 1927, which has the sub title that says “Attention”, seems to warn of that danger. Something that the character also does with his finger. It seems to say, “be careful what can come at us”.

Unfortunately he was right, and Hitler came to power in 1933. By then, Grosz had already established himself as a teacher in the United States, and the Nazi regime had him as an artist degenerate, and even called him "the number one cultural Bolshevik."

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