Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Sabina's Art

Sabina describes her life as a series of betrayals and her art is no exception. Sabina is painting at a time of extreme government censorship over both art and speech. The only form of art accepted at this time was “the strictest realism” which consisted of paintings most closely representing every day life with no paranormal or mysterious elements to them. Sabina, on the other hand, becomes inspired when a drop of red paint falls on one of her paintings, and begins a series of paintings called “Behind the Scenes”. Kundera explains, “On the surface, there was always an impeccably realistic world, but underneath, behind the backdrop’s cracked canvas, lurked something different, something mysterious or abstract.” (63) Sabina's paintings consisted of things we may see everyday, such as buildings or landscapes, with something mysterious and incomprehensible underneath. This is the opposite of what was acceptable art at the time as the communist regimen did not want what was “behind the scenes” or in the cracks to show through.
As I thought more about Sabina's paintings I wanted to find an example of what they may have looked like. While searching for paintings I came across some interesting images of street art. Although these images are not paintings, I felt that they captured the same idea that Sabina’s paintings would have. The world as we see it on the surface, with something mysterious underneath. These images helped me to better visualize the two themes or two worlds Sabina’s paintings would have depicted, which is why I thought that I would share them with y'all. 



Abbey said...

I really liked this post, Madison, and found it very thought-provoking. I never would have thought about finding present day examples of what Sabina's art might have looked like in order to better understand her expression, but thinking about it made me realize the illusions in this street art really do represent her vision. I actually wanted to look more into these street art illusions because of this. I read a lot that the main point of this kind of art "strives to bring life to the dull walls of our urban environments." Speaking against the regime did bring a sort of new outlook and life to the citizens of Czechoslovakia and it certainly stirred up the scene. The purpose of Sabina's art is to force the viewer to focus on what is occurring underneath, look past the information that we are given, and pay attention to the life hidden behind a realistic facade just like samizdat was intended to expose the truth of the Communist regime, also an intelligible lie on the surface. This street art "makes the impossible seem real" and really makes one think of all the secrets associated with how it is made, and as we all know, secrets were a central concept in Czech society. The idea and essence of what was going on in the book as well as some of the actual world events occurring in Europe regarding censorship is truly captured by the concept of this art.

Belin Manalle said...

Being able to see a visual representation of a modern day version of Sabina's artwork truly enhanced my experience of this book. I'm so glad that Madison thought to compare Sabina's pieces to these different sidewalk works. I've always liked 3D street art like these pictures and thinking of it as another world and a sort of escape from everyday urban society makes it that much more interesting. Ever since Sabina's artwork was first described, I fell in love with how I pictured it. Her artwork perfectly represents all of the issues during that time. Czech society was unable to freely express themselves in any form, so they must hide behind facades. That is exactly what Sabina does in her paintings. She must hide her true expressions behind a layer in her artwork