moholy-nagy,the-broken-marriage-1925

 

Late in his time at the Bauhaus, Moholy-Nagy created many photomonage while living in Berlin, Germany. He was a very distinct photographer; his photomontage was at times very confusing and hard to understand to the average person.  Some of the photography works by Mohly-Nagy could be used as an influence for Cubist artist’s. Cubism was a movement that specialized in making people take time to actually look at the work to decipher its meaning. Moholy-Nagy’s photomontage allowed for him to complete works much faster as half the photo was pictures already completed. He only needed to paste the pictures and draw from there.

In 1925 Moholy-Nagy created The Broken Marriage. It was a photomontage on gelatin silver print. At the time, after the war, Germany had been moved back into a time of pre-industrialization. These hard times in Berlin caused people to turn from the sanctity of marriage. In the artwork you see a man and a woman merged into one body but separate heads facing different directions. As if they are one body under God but their minds are on two different things. They both have sneaky looks on their faces as if they were up to something. The woman has her hand on her chin like how you would consider a very flirtatious secretary to appear if she was talking to a significant other. The smile on her face shows her enjoyment of the person in front of her. Her assumed husband has a shadow covering some of his face however, his glasses show the reflection of another set of eyes which he is looking into. The softness of the eyes suggests they are of a woman. He has his hand extended to take something from the person behind the wall. From the shape of his hand I would guess he was receiving something small like a calling card, known for having phone numbers on the back. There is also a photo of a promiscuous woman on the wall in front of him; as if the walls hold what is on his mind, or in his company majority of the time. Critics suggest that the curlers coming out of their heads show how they both have current attractions in different directions. In the front of the picture there is a woman’s hand extended to some staring eyes. The hand could also be the missing piece from behind the left wall that the husband is reaching out for. The eyes are also dilated as if in a trance that could possibly be the husbands since his eyes are hidden by an angle and reflection of the woman in his glasses.

This artwork was not the last of his photomontage series but this was a very important piece. His outgoing attitude was reflected in his artwork. He talked about things that were causing problems in the community, such as broken homes with infidelity problems. This artwork is now found in J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angles, California.

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