Art Criticism of Barricade by Jose Clemente Orozco

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Art Criticism of Barricade by Jose Clemente Orozco

The painting Barricade by José Clemente Orozco is made using oil on canvas. It is 140 by 114.3 cm and it portrays five men that are closely placed together. To the left of the portrait there is a shirtless hunched man giving his back to the viewer and has his right arm extended to the right. He is holding a red cloth in his right hand. He has two bullet straps going over his shoulders and strapped across his back. To his right there is another shirtless male figure facing the viewer with his arm extended forward and his feet closely placed together. There is a rope loosely placed around his feet. This man also has his arm slightly extended forward. He is standing in a slanted position and is leaning his back on something. To the right of this man is a fully clothed crouched man holding a knife in his hand. There are two other shirtless men on the ground behind this crouched male figure.

The two bigger men on the left are balanced by the three smaller men on the right. Orozco uses a brighter value of blue on the pants of the two men on the left to show their dominance over the rest of the men. The posture of the slanted man creates implied diagonal lines. Orozco also uses a vibrant red colored cloth shift the reader’s attention from the two dominant male figures to focus on other aspects of the artwork and the other minor figures.

The whole painting may evoke a gloomy and depressing mood in the viewer because the men appear to be struggling. The red cloth seems to symbolize bloodshed because of the seemingly violent scene that is taking place in the rest of the painting. The dominant figure on the right appears to be fighting for his life because of the way he is clenching his teeth. He could be extending his arm to reach for help from someone not included in the painting. The knife in the crouched man’s hand symbolizes war, and his loose grip on the knife may represent his defeat. The smoke that...
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