Of all the paintings I have ever seen American Gothic scares me the most.
If you take a look at those two faces, you know somebody is going to die- her, him, YOU. Doesn’t matter. But heads up the end is near for someone.
The thing of it is, you wish someone would do something because something happened to create that expression and I never had the feeling that something could be good. I mean, I get that the painting captured a moment on the models faces and that they didn’t walk around looking like that all of the time…but they did some of the time.
Personally, I thought those two were a sort of Bonnie and Clyde aged 104- their glory years gone, the money gone, but that doesn’t matter because that ‘someone is going to buy the farm’ look is still there and they were- at age 104 -still capable of mowing you down in a shower of lead.
Ah but reality rears it’s head and I found this quote about the painting
Iowans were furious at their depiction as “pinched, grim-faced, puritanical Bible-thumpers”. Wood protested that he had not painted a caricature of Iowans but a depiction of his appreciation, stating “I had to go to France to appreciate Iowa.”
I get what the artist means- I’ve been to Iowa a few times- that’s where my husband is from and I must say I felt the same way- I appreciated Iowa when I got back to Washington…and that time I was in New Orleans and during a couple of trips to Las Vegas.
Ok that sounds snarky, but look one of my honest to goodness favorite painting is this one:
There is something wicked there, something brutal and fierce. It has it’s own sort of beauty and tell it’s own story whether or not you’re paying attention.
The original is my second favorite painting.
For the same reasons.