Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Skat Players and Military Injury Now

Otto Dix, The Skat Players – Card Playing Invalids

The Skat Players by Otto Dix portrays three injured men who have gotten hurt because of the war. Dix was giving a narrative on how modern weaponry and extremism in war has gotten to impossibly destructive heights. He is right, from World War Two and onward, battles have been fought with weapons of mass destruction and entire communities have been knocked out in seconds.

War injury is an interesting subject in art, because it has changed vastly throughout the years. Some wounds are consistent like gunshots, but others change in relevancy and media coverage throughout the time. For example, very rarely are musket and cannon wounds an issue any more, however Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has arisen to new heights and is one of the most common side effects from a life in the milita.

Therefore, Dix was spot on for his time and brought awareness to a subject that can often be ignored especially in the upper class world of art. It would be interesting though to see how his art could be translated to reflect the big issues in war now such as PTSD and Nuclear Weaponry.

Upon a search, I discovered that these issues today have taken a new form in art. PTSD is now treated with art, as opposed to brought to light. Art therapy is a common form of rehabilitation for survivors of war. On the International Art Therapy Website (
uma.html) They have more information including a video on projects going on with PTSD.

It is interesting over the years, how the subject matter and aim of art can change and go in different directions, although all founded upon the same struggle: military injury.

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