Sunday, July 20, 2008

American Gothic

American Gothic by Grant Wood is an iconic painting that hangs in the Art Institute of Chicago. It portrays a man and woman on an Iowa farm around 1930. If you are not familiar with the image, please click the first link. Gordon Parks, one of my favorite photographers, used the same title in 1942 for his famous image of a black cleaning woman in a Washington office building, dignified and worn. The people in the two pictures are very different. The common thread is the seriousness of everyday American working men and women. This is my small contribution to the genre. (Background music for the topic here.)

While I was eating my horrible carnival lunch at the World's Largest Catsup Bottle Festival, I saw this man at the cash box of a beer vending truck nearby. Given my habits, I asked him if I could take his picture. He grunted assent but I couldn't get a flicker of expression. Maybe that was for the best.

WHO I'M HANGING OUT WITH TODAY: ShadowyOne, heir-apparent to the St. Louis Daily Photo fortune
TOMORROW: Gas tank of the damned


Abraham Lincoln said...

Well, you asked. Maybe it is George W. in disguise?

Abraham Lincoln
—Brookville Daily Photo

Virginia said...

Wasn't this guy the governor of Wisconsin once?

U "R" Us said...

Nice image. I like the stark crispness of the sign's graphics contrasted with the visual softness of the man's shirt and face. Despite his gruffness.

babooshka said...

Oh no, it's so much better without the smile. It's a wonderful portrait, he fits so well with the advert. Your
photographic influences have be bourne out with this image.

Louis la Vache said...

In "Louis's" opinion, the lack of expression IS the expression!

Olivier said...

superbe portrait b&w, j'adore.

superb portrait b&w, I love.

Knoxville Girl said...

This man takes his beer seriously. So, serious b&w is appropriate.
BTW, two rieslings are usually my limit. :)