Home Magazine Ethics and Aesthetics: The Social Initiative of Alejandra Osado

Unlike Picasso, who was commissioned to paint a picture about the bombing of Guernica, the humanist painter Alejandra Osado took the initiative to create a monumental work of 11 pieces representing the terrorist attacks that caused 193 deaths in Madrid on March 11, 2004.

Related Articles: News from the Art World - June 2023Textual Forms by ChryssaWhite Balance Exhibition Returns to Madrid and explores the resourcefulness of photography

Osado's work, "Apocalyptic Memory II," was exhibited at Galería ÁUREA - Madrid Art Center.

Osado created the project "Testimonies of Art," involving more than thirty Spanish artists who joined her in creating a collection of works intended for the families of the victims of the March 11 attacks, thereby offering the first social embrace of art to Spanish society. (Published by journalist Fernando Samaniego in El País on March 12, 2005).

Alejandra Osado, the humanist painter, was the president of the Association of Realist Painters of Spain and donated the entire exhibition to the 11M Association "Affected by Terrorism," presided over by its founder, Pilar Manjón.

Alejandra Osado. Fragment of Memoria Apocalíptica II, 2004. Courtesy of Galería Aurea

Two years later, in 2007, Osado made this project sustainable by expanding it internationally under the name "11M, Testimonies of Art." The exhibition was taken to Argentina, and a first showing took place at the "Salón de los Pasos Perdidos" at the University of Law in Buenos Aires. From June to September of that same year, it was also exhibited at the National University Institute of Art (IUNA) in the Argentine capital.

This constitutes an unprecedented event, as it is the only international exhibition on terrorism.

"Apocalyptic Memory" by Osado, the iconic work depicting the terrorist attacks of March 11. Alejandra Osado's iconic work, "Apocalyptic Memory II," represents the historical memory of the terrorist attacks of March 11 in Madrid.

"Apocalyptic Memory" by Osado, the iconic work depicting the terrorist attacks of March 11. Alejandra Osado's iconic work, "Apocalyptic Memory II," represents the historical memory of the terrorist attacks of March 11 in Madrid. It joins Picasso's "Guernica," which portrayed the terror of the bombings in the city of Guernica, and Francisco de Goya's "The Third of May 1808," but this time, the humanist painter Rodríguez Osado portrayed Spain's pain over the victims of the March 11 terrorist attack, which caused the death of 193 civilians and hundreds of injured individuals.

Eleven pieces make up the scene, laden with a brilliant composition, a moving creative iconography, and filled with symbols imbued with humanism. The spirits of Francisco de Goya, Pablo Picasso, and Alejandra Osado have been able to rise to the level of the historical events of their time through art that is committed to Spanish society.

Alejandra Osado. Fragment of Memoria Apocalíptica II, 2004. Courtesy of Galería Aurea

Work, Ethics, and Aesthetics

Alejandra Osado approached the tragic scenario by dividing her work into eleven fragments, thus defining the rupture of human lives. Osado skillfully used a palette of grays to evoke the social drama of the moment. At the top of the work, in the two fragments depicting the trains destroyed by the bombs, white doves are scattered as symbols of the souls of the victims. A woman in a frayed black dress emerges among the tracks, representing life, raising her hands to the sky, pleading with a cry of profound pain and sorrow.

Alejandra Osado. Fragment of Memoria Apocalíptica II, 2004. Courtesy of Galería Aurea

Below, in the next three fragments, four characters are described on the tracks. On the left, the first figure has a gesture of denial, "not wanting to see" and "trying to contain the scream." The second figure is an elderly woman covering her ears and closing her eyes, refusing to accept what is happening. In front of her, a man asks for help with open hands, and the last figure is bent down, displaying great grief. Between them, a newspaper page rolls on the tracks with the headline "No to the Iraq War"... At the feet of these characters, the victims of this brutal attack are shown symbolized by a body covered with a white cloth.

Alejandra Osado. Fragment of Memoria Apocalíptica II, 2004. Courtesy of Galería Aurea

The sixth, seventh, and eighth fragments represent the victims beneath the body covering one of them and another newspaper headline at their feet stating "Terrorist Hell in Madrid"... The final fragments of the work are a tribute represented by flowers chosen by the artist, "Thoughts" and "Don't Forget Me," amidst butterflies, one-way tickets, and fragmented photos from the victims' childhood. The identity of Galería Áurea is affirmed by the concept that created art should offer both aesthetics and ethics without lacking in content. On the contrary, it should be involved in the life of human beings, in the present time, and in history. We believe that artists should preserve their essence and have a direct connection with the events of the society in which they find themselves.

Cover image: Alejandra Osado. Apocalyptic Memory II, 2004. Courtesy of Galería Aurea

Written by Galería Aurea

Stay Tuned on Kooness Art Magazine for more exciting news from the art world.


Please rate this article
Thank you for your vote!

< PREVIOUS

< PREVIOUS