Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Truth In The Art

I believe in symbolism through the arts.

I spent four years studying the symbolism and imagery found in music, and several of my best friends spent four years (and longer) studying the symbolism and imagery found in visual arts.

I had the privilege of studying one semester of art history, while I was living in Rome and I absolutely LOVED that class.  I just loved delving into history, traditions, symbolism, themes, religion, and politics all having noteworthy influence on a specific artistic work.  Then, because the class was being taught in Rome, more often than not, the class would then see the actual piece of art we were studying, in person.

After taking that art history class in Rome, I began to think that if I had taken an art history class earlier in my collegiate career, I might have become an art history major instead of a music history major... or possibly both.

I love discussing the symbolism of art.  Some of my favorite times with friends have been seeing a CRAZY looking statue or painting in an airport or on a college campus and discussing the possible symbolism present in the artwork.  We often have no idea what we're talking about, and we never know if we are even close to being right, but it is SO much fun to open our minds to the artistic possibilities and potential of a piece of art.


The American Flag is FULL of symbolism.
There is symbolism in the colors:
Red: Hardiness and Valor
White: Purity and Innocence
Blue: Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice

There is symbolism in the layout:
The blue rectangle representing the Union.
The white stars representing the individual States.
The alternating red and white stripes representing the original 13 British colonies.
On the topic of symbolism in art, on this day of the first presidential debate, I am going to touch, VERY briefly on a political point.  I am going to withhold my political opinion about what I am writing, and just share, my artistic analysis.

President Obama has a nifty artistic slogan affiliated with his campaign.  The artistic slogan has become recognizable as a symbol of an Obama-supporter, and was first released in 2007 when Obama began his first campaign for president.

The creator of the slogan, Sender LLC describes the "O":
"We were looking at the “o” of his name and had the idea of a rising sun and a new day... The sun rising over the horizon evoked a new sense of hope."

 While many elements of Obama's "O" are consistent with elements from our American Flag, President Obama's artistic slogan is missing one very important symbol present in our national artistic symbol.  He has the red, the white, the blue.  He has the stripes... but there are no stars.

The stars, which represent the individual states in our American Union are missing from his artistic motto, which is waved far and wide across the country to represent him.  The solid blue, which represents the Union in our flag is present, but within the Union is not a single star.

Some conservatives have spoken for over three years about how government is getting bigger and bigger, and the big government, and the big government spending is overstepping itself onto the rights of states and individuals.

I am not going to say, today, if I agree of disagree, but I will say, that he kind of warned us with his artistic slogan.

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