The art you like to look at usually fills you up with calmness, hope, and joy. Those are the emotions you are comfortable with. However, the art pieces that can actually move and leave a huge impact inside our minds are the ones with vivid or dark colors, bold structure, or provocative narrative. The base for this outcome on canvas is the powerful emotion that we all have – anger. Some of the most known artists were excellent at transforming anger and frustration into their iconic artwork. These are artists that made perfect anger pieces.
As we talked about approving all your emotions, even bad ones, in the article about emotional hygiene, we can agree that we all carry the bouquet of various emotions inside of us. However, we all differently express negative emotions. Some of us may take a long run to leave it on the track. Others may take a walk while listening to heavy metal. Some people feel better when they release all their anger and frustration while yelling at a random person who crossed their path at the wrong time.
Artists have a very obvious yet special way to express their anger – they channel it into their art. Not only the joy and lifted spirit, but the anger also makes its way onto the canvas. And if transferred with caution, it can create very powerful pieces.
Remember the famous Norwegian artist Edvard Much and his “The Scream”? The painting is vibrating with anger, fear, and anxiety. These were the emotions the painter felt while walking at sunset when the sky turned red, and he sensed an “infinite scream passing through nature”.
Another perfect example of anger (and much more) in an artwork is one of the best works of the famous artist from the last century – Pablo Picasso and his “Guernica.” It is an outcome of Picasso’s strong mixed emotions after an act of war in Guernica. Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy bombarded the Basque Country town during the Civil War in Spain at the request of Spanish Nationalists. You can capture the anger and desperation, loss, sadness, and confusion in the painting.
The famous Mexican artist Frida Kahlo spilled her emotions on canvas as well. Her piece “Little Deer” is a work that reflects her pain and anger inflicted by her ex-husband Diego Riviera, who cheated on her audaciously, and the pain, devastation, and suffering from her numerous surgeries she had to take during her lifetime.
“Anger is what makes me work”, – once said Louise Bourgeois, a French-American Sculptor. It was a betrayal she lived through as a child that made her so angry; she channeled it all to her art a long time after. When she was growing up in Paris, Bourgeois was schooled by a governess who was living together with her family. Then little Louise learned that her teacher had other duties as well – she was also her father’s mistress. The cheating made her furious, and the anger was reflecting in her works for decades.
Another world-famous artist – British street artist Banksy, made a clear anger statement with his work “Rage, the Flower Thrower.” The piece is located in Bethlehem, on a wall that separates Palestine from Israel. The man in the painting is raging with anger, but instead of a bomb, a Molotov cocktail, or a rock, he is holding a colorful bouquet of flowers. As Banksy is a known pacifist who is against any war, this is a powerful statement against the violence in the region. The bouquet symbolizes peace and love. Not surprisingly, the second name for this artwork is “Love is in the air.”
There are many art forms where anger could become the main fuel of the idea process. If you think you have some anger issues, look at it from a different perspective – you can transform it mindfully and make some exceptional art pieces! Or, if you are not the art person, keep it physical and let it out through your favorite workout.