After reading and seeing the art presented in Kristine Kuramitsu’s Internment and Identity in Japanese American Art, I decided to look at art created during/as a result of the Holocaust as people were confined in camps similar to those internment camps we read about. I found the work of artist David Olère and thought it was quite interesting. Instead of using art as a method of release or for just an activity to pass the time he used drawing and painting as a way to document what actually went on in concentration camps; he truly captured the horrific events and the emotions that went along with them. Interestingly enough, many of the pictures involve similar themes to the ones we read about in Kuramitsu’s article; fences, crucifixes, struggling children and families are just a few of the common motifs. The major difference I saw was that a lot of the internment camp artwork revolved around irony (of the “American Dream” or the “melting pot”) while Olère’s work is a much more grim and harsh reality.
To see some of David Olère’s work: