Horrible People. Who are these horrible people?
In 1930, Grant Wood painted his most famous work ‘American Gothic’. They used to say that it is part of his distinctive themes about American West, because he belongs and he is founder of that artistic movement called ‘Regionalism’. However, I noticed differences among this work as his other paintings. It could be a typical peasant couple of those years in the way of dressing, but nothing more. Here, he is not painting American society or countryside in a friendly tone, even aseptic. Here, he wants something more, he wants to reflect the soul of the figures and, precisely for this, ‘American Gothic’ is his master piece.
What is the soul of the couple like? Well, in my opinion: horrible. They represent everything I hate: repression, bitterness, taxation, stupidity, selfishness … If the next issue of Yareah magazine will be about imagination, they are the opposite. He is Satan with his trident, redneck and proud at the same time. He looks straight ahead with bravado behind his glasses that enlarge his eyes. He is defiant but his look is flat as he knows nothing except who can impose: white is white and black is black (he doesn’t know the grey, less the pink). A step back, it is his wife, with a loop which imitates a tempting snake, she is Eve’s daughter. She does not dare to look straight ahead, but she will clearly obey Satan when he starts sending people to the stake: anyone who does not like him, a bag of learned rules for those who do not dare to think.
Artists have suffered for these kind of people from the beginning; and from the beginning, they have reflected them with their masterful brush. Who is ‘Sor Jerónima de la Fuente’? A bad nun according to Diego Velazquez’ brush, she intrigued in the court of Philip IV of Spain and she was so stupid as to allow this painting.
Who is the triumphant lawyer by Honore Daumier (‘L’Escalier’)? A peacock that only looks at his navel, not at the customers. And who’s the ape-man to be married in Goya’s painting (‘The Weeding’)? Only a rich man who buys (and forces) the love.
We find people like this in Japan, in the paintings by Hokusai; and in German, where Otto Dix is not happy with a society responsible of a World War. Artemisia Gentileschi, who was raped with 19, painted ‘Susan and the old Men’ in Baroque style; Lucian Freud a teenager, ‘The Burgler’, who will be a cad; and in Mexico, Diego Rivera, makes a similar couple to Grant Wood, this time in ‘Alameda Park’.
Yes, they are ticks, difficult to be removed, but the first thing to eliminate them is to know their faces.