Nowadays, many paintings are misusing in many ways. One of the most common way is it uses for ‘’meme’’. I know it’s awkward and hilarious, but it’s changing our perspective of paintings. It decreases the value of the painting or sometimes it’s doing the opposite. Such as somebody made a meme by using McDonald’s burger on the pitchfork holding by the old man in the famous ‘’American Gothic’’ painting by Grant Wood. Also, there many memes and parodies of that painting around the world. I want to clarify that the painting called “American Gothic” was not famous before.
However, the meaning of the painting is in the eye of the beholder. The artist portrayed the painting by imagining the kind of people should live in that specific house. The painting shows a farmer standing beside his daughter, often mistakenly rumored to be his wife and they were standing in front of a white house with a gothic-style window. However, here the meme changed the perspective of the painting. After seeing the meme people who never see the painting will definitely think that the two persons on the painting are fighting/seeking for food. Or the old man tokes the burger of the girl. But in reality, it’s not. Here invention of software/Photoshop changed the value/meaning of the painting like John Berger pointed out in the video that reproduction changes the actual meaning of the painting.
However, here the meme actually spreads/increasing the popularity of the painting. The reason is when people see the meme, they will try to find the real meanings or the story of the painting. That’s how the fame of the painting can be increased. Similar like the meme there are many parodies about the painting. Also, many movies, animated movies use the painting for entertainment purposes. These things made the painting popular. As a result, the painting is well-known to many people in the world. Also, many people saw the painting as a joke. Therefore, reproduction can be a good way to increase popularity of a painting such as the “American Gothic”.
I agree with your mention that reproduction changed the actual meaning of the painting. someone make reproduction for wealth, someone make reproduction for joke. people pay more attention to its popularity or not.
This is interesting, but your comments made me wonder what is the meme itself supposed to be showing?