More About American Gothic by Grant Wood
A largely misunderstood painting, The American Gothic, is a symbol of Americana in the 20th century.
Regarded as husband and wife, the painting is, in fact, of a farmer and his daughter. It was painted during the Great Depression, most likely with the motive to display America’s true self.
A farmer with a pitch-fork standing in front of a Gothic-Architectural building also adds to the elongated nature of the entire painting.
In one of his interviews, Wood stated, “There is a satire hidden in the painting,” and as much as one could figure out, the satire most likely was the pretense.
Putting grandeur-styled Gothic structures into a cardboard-like frame house was the satire. Forgetting the heritage, culture, and tradition of the grand to accommodate it into typical Midwestern requirement, that was the satire.
However, there is also a religious and political statement hidden somewhere in the painting.
The structure of the house was not only grandeur but European. Wood, to an extent, did not like the influence of Europe on small towns in America.
Post the Great Depression, when people had almost lost hope, the necessity to push public opinion and American policy towards nationalism increased.
That is when writers and artists like Wood started depicting down-to-earth, rural images of the American lives and cultures.
It was a way to influence Regionalism.
Also, unlike the rich, Wood also famously declared, “the kind of people I fancied should live in that house,” a statement that the hardworking class, the farmers, deserved to live in such resplendent houses.
On a personal note, I feel that Wood was instead satirizing the repressive nature of a small town. The painting is more about the 1930s American rural than the architecture.
As soon as one looks at the painting, it takes them in a claustrophobic space, almost limiting the landscape.
The woman’s face is devoid of any humor, as if showing that the life of a woman is more troubled in a town like that.
All in all, be it a satire on the architecture or the lifestyle, what’s commendable is the impact of the painting.
Not only has it become a noteworthy piece of art, but has also been adapted across media and pop culture.
This gave us a chance for our artists to practice and sharpen their adaptation of The American Gothic too.
The result of which is a close-to-original American Gothic replica.
We trust that nobody does it like PortraitFlip’s artists.
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