Sunday, October 21, 2007

iconic images: more than just your aim picture

The staple of early 1900 art; American Gothic, is a painting that has become omnipresent. We all know it, we’ve all seen it in some way shape or form and so, it has become an iconic. An iconic image is one which some might say is “synonymous” with a time period or event. Grant Wood’s painting embodied small town life, the early 1900’s, art during that time and puritan values. It was a slam dunk as far as iconic images go.
Images such as this painting negate a lot of the artistic value many would see, did they choose to look deeper. Its just a painting of an unhappy farmer and his wife (or spinster daughter depending on whom you talk to). It really is a brilliant oil painting filled with intricate line work that happened to consume any other painting Wood would create. You see, this one painting is what he was known for, though most people fail to recall the title let alone the artist.
Iconic images irk me. On the one had they bring forth information and a somewhat contrived defined truth. They say what words can not and connect the many through a single thread. How ever these same images are defining complex matters. One photograph of a starving child can not convey the horrors of the many that are dying of malnutrition. Whether it is puritan values or war, a danger exists when ever a label is slapped onto anything.

I thought it was also important to show how iconic images can be used to market things or simply to convey another idea

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