American contemporary pop artist Ron English (previously featured here) has an ongoing fascination with Guernica (top image), Pablo Picasso's famous 1937 painting depicting the intense suffering and tragedies of war, created in response to the bombing of the village of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War.
Ron English has painted his own interpretations of Guernica over 50 times to date. For him the iconic painting serves as a modern template, “just as the Madonna and Child is an ancient template,” he says.
The Huffington Post recently shared an essay by English in which he explained his reasons for continually reimagining Picasso’s masterpiece:
“[Guernica] is a visual shorthand for the overwhelming and gratuitous horror of modern war. But I argue that the cultural takeaway of Guernica is actually the opposite. It transforms incomprehensible tragedy into a cartoon narrative, something we can more easily absorb. This is part of the human process, to distance ourselves from the immediacy of undiluted, overwhelming emotions by overlaying a narrative that simplifies, and in effect, takes us down from three to two dimensions. And this is the underlying concept that I grapple with in all my many versions of Guernica.”
Click here to read the entire piece and view more of Ron English’s captivating visions of Guernica.