NUMBER 12: OTTO DIX
German artist, Otto Dix was someone that inspired me to become more outspoken as a teenager. I’d discovered his paintings in high school and was drawn to his intensity and boldness of delivery. Initially, Dix had enlisted for the German’s in the first world war however, after witnessing the blood shed and utter horror of what lay in wake, Dix decided to turn his mind to protesting against war through art. And successfully so at that.
In 1919, Dix moved to Dresden where he became a founder of the secession movement and later exhibited in with the German expressionists. At the advent of the second world war, he mounted a campaign against the Nazi movement and offered his work to protest groups. Sadly, many of these works were confiscated and later burnt by Nazi officers. It was from this period where many of his greatest works came into being. Dix was even arrested and later released for plotting against Hitler. His resilience to the Nazi regime has been remembered fondly in the decades since the end of the war.
Perhaps though, the most renowned work produced by Dix is his “Portrait of A Journalist” which was produced in 1926. I remember writing a short assignment on this piece in high school. The aim was to recount the effect a work such as this would have on society at the time it was painted. For many nights, I would lay awake in bed trying to contemplate what life was like in the 1920’s for the people of Germany. I desperately tried to imagine how they lived, where they resided and what drove them to push against the pricks as it were. I don’t really remember what the content included all these years later but my assignment garnered good marks so it must have painted a good representation from my art teacher.
It’s people like Otto Dix, the ones who were never afraid to stand up or stand alone in their views that inspired me to become the person I am today. I love the outsider, the loner, the forward thinker and, as some would call them, the “left wing loony” who is always the one to take the world forward for the right reasons. Thankfully, Otto Dix is a significant factor in why I am so politically motivated today. Hence forth, Dix is well and truly in the list of 39.