Grotesques at Santo Domingo Essay

AbstractAs a member of the American Ashcan School of Art, consisting of eight members from 1871-1951, John Sloan himself needs to be appreciated before one can look objectively at his realistic work of art,  “Grotesques at Santo Domingo” (1923).

The Ashcan  artists  usually represented the underprivileged and poor in urban areas, which makes this particular picture of John Sloan’s unique as even though it still represents the “undernourished and poor” aspect of society, not within  New York society but of rural lands where the gentle scent of nature and earth fill the soul. The origin of the work is better understood by John Sloan’s personal statement of art in the Artists on Art series of, “Art is the result of a creative impulse derived out of a consciousness of life”. (Sloan, 2006). This picture’s consciousness of life is seen through the eyes of the artist when observing the dances of the natives and their communication to world. The artist’s intention, and the desire to convey this to the audience, is what makes this special.Grotesques at Santo Domingo1923 by John Sloan (American 1871-1951)          “Grotesques at Santo Domingo” is that of a tribal celebration of an Indian clan, such as of a harvest of corn, a joyous moment demonstrated through the dancer’s movements, of connecting to nature, in order to communication to their ancestor’s past lives.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

One can accomplish this artistically enough to visually affect the viewer aesthetically through color, design, and style. The grayish bodies demonstrated death yet still communicating, shown through the dancing bodies, still connecting to others, using color that is more vibrant to show those who are alive have life and vitality. The lines are extremely fluid and loose, speaking of movement – appearing as if the artist had done the work quick while they danced, as if to “grab the moment” which is expected from an artist of publishing backgrounds, used to sketching at high speed. Sloan began utilizing a different color theory in this picture –that of Hardesty Maratta, in 1909, using a  “highly structured, systematized formula for pigments and tonal relationships”. This allowed the color theory to represent the unspoken message of the dancers.

The realistic art work, “Grotesques at Santo Domingo” (1923) by John Sloan, appears to have a primitive feel to it through the fluidity of the lines and movements, but is not. It is not only heavily laced with the total culture of the tribe, but it also is artistically achieved by the feeling one gets when viewing the work as a whole. In order to understand the true meaning of the work, we needed to understand the picture in its entirety to understand the true meaning of what John Sloan was trying to say in it.


I'm Ruth!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out