This is the blog of Kelly Jennings, science fiction writer.
Only people who believe art matters can create art that really matters, perhaps? Perhaps the US far right is too swept up in Christian fundamentalism to love representation? But then, Milton managed, as you note.
As a college professor likely too focused on my own little corner of the world, I'm most interested in the fact that the young man in the picture appears to be a college student (the backpack, and the books, which appear to be college level -- note that the one visible title is "socialism"). So what's going on here? Leaving aside the plausiblity of Trump knowing how to fish (in a suit or not), is he introducing the young man to simpler pleasures? hard work (hah!)? Something else? And what would Thoreau, or Emerson, or, for that matter, Hemingway, make of all this? It seems like there are echoes of some of their constructions of America and Americanness here, but I can't quite parse them (probably because the picture doesn't really work as art or propaganda. It's just strange, without really being provocative, or even interesting).
I think this is supposed to be an illustration (rather than an actual painting). This painter is illustrating the folk saying "Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, he can feed himself for life."So, see, Trump is teaching the young man to fish -- whereas his evil, evil university professors just planned to teach him SOCIALISM, so that he would never be able to feed himself, but would have to live on the government FOREVER. Because that's just what university professors do. We're evil that way.As someone noted on Facebook, among other problems with this painting, Trump couldn't bait a fishhook if you gave him three tries and an instruction manual.Whereas the chair of my department has won awards for bass fishing.
I just made the mistake of looking at the artist's website. I can't get that half hour back, either. It's like looking at Norman Rockwell's inept crazy brother's work or something. (In that didactic way, though Rockwell at least seemed to me to have a bit of a sense of humor.)
IKR? It's just... astounding.And not in a good way.This might be my favorite: http://jonmcnaughton.com/runaway-slave-11x14-lithograph/'Runaway Slave." I bet you can guess what the "slave" is running away from.
Somehow, I missed that one in my perusal. When I was a kid, I had a jigsaw puzzle with famous racehorses. On the box somewhere, each horse's name and something about them was printed, so a little kid could learn something about the horses. (I didn't care so much, just liked horses a LOT.) His didactic paintings with all the famous people and the little descriptions in the interactive part remind me of that.The thing is, he's not a terrible draughtsman, but he's a terrible didact.
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