Francisco de Goya

This exhibition is an attempt to demystify death by showing that death has always been around us. The selected art works includes a painting by Goya of the peninsular war that seeks to explain death in one method that is most familiar. Other artists in the exhibition include modern artists such as Bansky and Ricky Swallow whose works is a satirical attempt of examining death in the modern society. Bansky especially evaluates death in the modern societies and equates to some of the daily activities that humans overdo in their bid to survive. Thus the quest to fulfill the human needs is seen as responsible for shortening an individual’s lives through Bansky works.

The theme of this exhibition is death and disaster and this theme is driven by most of the works presented through irony or satire. It is an interesting exhibition to watch therefore because it provokes our thoughts on death by taking a satirical look at some of social occurrences or highly held views.The painting is titled The shopping Jesus painted by Bansky a graffiti artist based on the UK whose real name is unknown and born in 1970. This painting’s main theme is commercialism and its effect in the modern society.

The shopping Jesus by Bansky a graffiti artist based on the UK is a satirical look at the modern consumerism. He depicts Jesus with shopping bags in the same poses that he is usually to have taken on the cross. This painting is a satirical look at the modern commercialism which the artist seems to imply that will cause the death of mankind. Bansky was well known for his satirical dark humor and his disdain for political authority. He was born in 1974 in Bristol UK, and he started his graffiti art work in 1980s. Bansky uses satire and irony in his paintings to make social commentary. His Jesus shopping painting is an ironical look at the modern trends that place material things above anything else. The irony in this painting is that instead of the nails that were used to crucify Jesus. He replaced them with shopping bags. This implies the modern burden that material things have a place in the society implying that it will be the cause of human extinction. This painting was done in the 1980s when materialism was starting to gain root; thus, it is a strong opposing to the trends that were emerging back then.

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The wooden skull is a sculpture by Ricky Swallow a modern Australian artist who was born in 19 74. The sculpture’s theme is that life is perishable and death inevitable.

Human head skulls have always been used to signify danger to human beings. The cross bone skulls in hazardous materials usually means that close contact can cause death. There is also the pirate flag where the human skull is used as a sign of danger. The wooden skull by Ricky Swallow follows this line of thinking. It signifies an already dead human being so the sculpture symbolizes death. Ricky Swallows were born in Victoria Australia in 1974 he moved to the USA where he started his sculpturing work using daily available objects as his materials including bones. His wooden head skull is a dark humorous way of looking at live. He seems to be telling his audiences that regardless of the social status death is the final fate.

The delicate wooden skull is a depiction of the human flaws and the natural aspect of death. The use of wood in this sculpture is to symbolize that human life is not diminishing nature of human life that eventually ends in death. We can also argue that once a person dies and is buried his or her body is turned into natural matter that may end up being food for the plants. It is; therefore, ironical to make a human skull out of wood rather than from bones. He seems to be telling us that eventually humans will end up as part of nature. The artist statement to the society through his sculptures is the perishable nature of live. Especially in this modern society that is surrounded by terrorism, epidemic diseases and natural events that have claimed countless lives.

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Bronze Gold Face artist unknown

The statue was found in a grave dig in Schwarzenbach Germany, and it is a representation of the Celtic art works of the fifth century. This means, therefore, that the inevitability of death has long been known to man. 

The main theme of this statue is inevitability of death. Bronze Gold Face by statue found in Schwarzenbach Germany is another art work that depicts death. This statue is a Celtic work of art. The Celtic warriors were considered to be among the bravest passionate warriors ready to die for their causes and beliefs. Schwarzenbach is rich in Celtic art works. The gold face has protruding features, and the art work made the eyes seem closed signifying lack of life in his sculpture. It also captures the impassive mood of the piece with the sculpture appearing to create an impression of a distance between it and the audience. This is another symbolism of lack of life in the head sculpture. In addition, there is no expression in the piece implying that it is dead. The Celtic warriors though revered and brave ended up losing their lives. This, therefore, tells us that no matters how immortal one may appear we are all faced by the same fate death.

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Music video

Bob Dylan plays Knockin' on Heaven's available at is a song that ironically signifies the end of live. The songs main theme is death, and it is inevitability. From the title to the Lyrics the song talks about one getting closer to heaven. Most human faith prescribes to the belief that once humans die they go to heaven. This, therefore, means that when an individual is knocking on the heaven door he or she is dead. Bob Dylan is a musician and a songwriter, and he was born in 1941 in the USA. He writing and composed the song in 1976. This was a period in the American history when the certain segments of society defied authorities and convection and were opposed to the Vietnam War. This kind of music was used to signify the impending death that come with war. The artist and his fans used satirical inferences to death as means of defying force constrictions into the army. 

"The disaster of war" by Francisco de Goya

The drawing was done by Goya to depict the horrors of war. The theme of the drawing is the effect of war on the society. The drawing shows a man with an axe and a human skull on his head surrounded by dead bodies and a fallen soldier he is about to decapitate. Goya was born in 1828, in Spain where he was the court painter.  His "The disaster of war" drawings contained a number of drawings that graphically depicted the horrors of the peninsula war. The Peninsular War was between Spain and its allies and the French in 1808 to 1814. It was fought through a series of guerilla welfares or little sporadic wars. The drawing by Goya is one of the many he drew to symbolize the brutal deaths that were fisted on the victims as well as the soldier. The drawing symbolizes death and its dangers and portrays a heap of dead bodies with a fallen soldier about to be killed. It was painted in Europe during periods when wars were convectional and thus deaths surrounded the societies. Goya used his drawings to remind the society of the brutalities and realities of war.


This drawing depicts an individual climbing a ladder to what seems to be to eternity. The theme of death in this piece is inferred by the firmly held belief that, after death people go to heaven. The artist ironically looks at death as a journey to heaven, by depicting a human at the bottom of the stairs begging his endless journey to heaven. Like the other work arts discussed above this piece looks at life as perishable with death as the inevitable outcome.


Art can be used as means of communicating the feelings prevalent in the society. From sculptures, drawings, paintings to music these mediums can be used to depict the main issues affecting society. They can also be used to preserve the history and record history. Drawings such as those of the "Disaster of war" by Francisco de Goya have served the purpose of passing on history from one generation to another.

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