The Artistry of William Kentridge
This paper discusses the use of art in revolutionizing our thinking through the portrayal of the past events and capturing emotional states. William Kentridge is a renowned performer, filmmaker, and drafter who use his unique talent of art to express ideas. He has used his animated drawing to focus on years before and after apartheid in South Africa. He was born in 1955 to a family where both parents were known for their defense against victims of the apartheid era. His first degree was in the field of Politics and African Studies in 1976 at the University of Witwatersrand. Later on in 1978 he moved to Johannesburg Art Foundation where he pursued his passion in art.
Characteristics of His Work
Kentridge has used his drawing to depict the complicated history of South Africa, specifically during the apartheid system. He has brought out the memory of what was there and shows the emotion of people during that era using his drawings and films. Although he is based in South Africa, his artistry work has a wider influence worldwide, bringing out the correlation between ethics, desire, responsibilities, the changes in our society, and how to understand it. He has used charcoal drawing because it is easy to reshape anything, and has brought the drawings to life, giving a sequence of the same drawing to depict a message.
The major themes of Kentridge’s work focus on how politics influence people’s lives in society. His work is a reflection of Johannesburg, exploring the oppression, loss, and cultural memory during the colonial era as well as the present time. He believes that the human mind may shed away the distant memories of our lives, yet our current identity is a result of past events. His work involves rubbing out parts of one drawing and embedding another drawing over the original work, signifying a representation for disremembering. The partially erased marks in the portraits represent the traces and layers of memories of the past. The deliberate ambiguities and fickleness of ironic meanings he uses in the pictures all help in shaping out his work. The usage of black and white color is distant to the viewers, portraying the socio-political divisions in the society and internal divisions among people.
The Influences of His Work
His artistry work influences not only South Africa but also the European continent, using the drawings to express things on a greater scale. Kentridge’s work has used art to capture attention and views of people, to get to understand a more deep connection with whatever is displayed. Additionally, he has used pictures to make a film, that is, each picture despite being different brings out continuous progress in each piece. Kentridge has been able to create a movement of pictures by use of sequential techniques, bringing the images to life. Animation is one of his contributions to the filming industry, using a set of still drawings to represent actions.
The analysis of Kentridge’s work requires a broader understanding of his metaphors and symbolism that he has used in most of his work. The whole artistry is focused on the context of South African history and the personal life of the artist. To get an understanding of the artwork, one has to analyze all the work done before, because they are all connected.
In conclusion, William Kentridge is among the best living filmmakers and artists alive. His work inspires most of the upcoming artists in reshaping the past and bringing it out in an intrinsic view.