An artist interested in providing commentary, views art`s primary goal as communication between artists and viewer by means of subject matter. Before the 19th century emergence of photography, artists and illustrators served as recorders of visual information. Artists have influenced the way we understand our world with their visual accounts of an event, a person or an opinion.
An influential example of commentary is Francisco Goya’s print series The Disasters of War. Goya made 82 prints dealing with various times in Spain’s 1808-14 war of resistance against Napoleon. The print, I Saw This, for example, shows refugees fleeing their homes in advance of approaching soldiers. Goya both witnessed and recorded many scenes in that conflict and the title of this work reflects this immediacy.
Frank, P., & Preble, D. (2011). Prebles’ artforms (11th ed.). Boston: Pearson/Prentice Halll.