Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Pt. 2- I know what I like...

Continuing with an examination of one of the artists of the new Thoughts on Democracy exhibition at The Wolfsonian–Florida International University and the artist (and illustrations)who inspired the exhibit...

Again we see Norman Rockwell using his photorealist technique (Alex Ross always seemed to me to be a big fan of Rockwell's) to show some average joe standing up to speak his mind at a public gathering of some sort1. It is touching to see the supportive looks on the others faces looking up this guy. As if maybe, this is the first time he's ever really spoken out on anything in public.

Okay, I tend to read a lot into these things.

Chip Kidd show us an image that be taken one of two ways- 1) We can express our Freedom of Speech by burning the flag or 2)By this freedom being taken away, we are destroying the very nation (and flag) that this freedom was created for in the first place.

I like what Rockwell does in almost anything, as I am not someone who gets cynical about his work. I think one needs to only look at how he uses shadows to know that this is an artist who believes that darkness is never very far from light, which to me puts the lie to his Pollyanna-ish image.

That being said, the light in the guy's eyes as he says whatever he's saying makes one again feel optimism about our country, even as the shadow behind him obliterates any detail about where this is taking place.

Kidd on the other hand offers another stark image2 to show what we need to be wary of. Rockwell seems to be saying "Be Grateful. Remember." to Kidd's "Watch Out!"

1... umm I never really research these things, y'know?
2. Which is going to be a theme for his presentations.

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