Guernica Dub

On April 26, 1937, bombers from the Luftwaffe of the Third Reich incendiary bombed the Basque town of Guernika, destroying it. They were supporting the fascist forces of General Franco during the Spanish civil war with the Republican coalition army. This event marked the first time Europeans had bombed another European civilian population. It was an act designed strictly to terrorize the Loyalist population, as there were no military targets in the town and thus was a test run and prelude to the horrors to become commonplace during World War 2.

Pablo Picasso made his painting depicting this event in a short, intense fury in Paris. It toured Europe and the US, raising money for Republican refugees and educating the world about this atrocity, creating international outrage while being denied and repressed within Spain. A cause celebre, it is arguably Picasso’s most famous work as well as the primary way the world knows about the bombing.

Picasso’s Guernica was given to the Museum of Modern Art on extended loan. Picasso instructed that his painting should be returned to Spain only upon the death of Franco and the return of democracy to his country. Guernica left NYC and arrived in Spain in 1981. That year I painted Guernica Dub in renaissance perspective as a gesture of homage through negation. Homage to a painting I saw many times in my youth and one of the reasons I am a painter today.