Jose Clemente Orozco was a Mexican social realist painter who specialized in bold murals. He was known as a muralist because he painted themes of violence or intolerance. Murals are notorious for their professional nature and the notable level of skill of the artists creating them. In his panel Modern Human Sacrifice we can see his focus on the indigenous culture. His creative use of this title tells me that he was not only sacrificing a human, but also the idea of modernism, since modernism was not an idea that stemmed from Latin Americans.
He also uses many tools to give the viewers hints to his thoughts. For instance the colors that he uses, the flag on the dead body, and the man singing next to the tubas display a victorious mood. The only colors that Orozco uses in this panel are red, blue and gold. Red signifies blood and passion. The blood is what they were willing to shed to protect the indigenous values and beliefs. Passion is what they felt about their way of living and the want to keeps things their way.Order now
Blue symbolizes religion; they did not want colonizers to come and change what they have known and practiced for so long. He uses gold to tell us that this is the time of the golden age; he knew that no matter how hard they fought the Europeans would soon get their way, but they did not give up without a fight. We can see this because of the dead corpse with the flag stuck in it. During a battle the flag is stuck in the ground by the group of people winning the fight, and I think that at this point Orozco felt as if the indigenous people were winning their battle.
Another interesting part of this panel is the man singing next the tubas. It is as if he is singing an anthem; the anthem of victory because the conqueror has fallen. In addition to the flag, the colors, and the man singing next to the tuba, I did notice that there were flowers thrown over the dead body. Perhaps the indigenous people that witnessed the human sacrifice threw flowers as if to say job well done. Sort of like when someone wins a contest.
This panel is telling a story about a group of people who are sick and tired of being bullied on their own territory. It was mentioned that human sacrifice was a tool that was used to threaten and to show power, and what better way to do it? They were going to show the Europeans what would happen should they continue to try to force their religion and values upon them. In summary, in order to understand this panel, or any piece of art, you have to know about the artist.
Since I knew that Jose Clemente Orozco was a muralist and what made him a muralist I could piece together the puzzle. It also helps the viewer to analyze any piece that jumps out of the painting because the artist may have made that piece a certain color or shape on purpose to grab the viewers attention. As to say look at me I mean something. You see art is like poetry or telling a story even, and just like every poem or every story has a reason for being told; art has a reason for being created. The viewer just has to find out what it is.