Wednesday, July 19, 2006

More American Gothic

The photo I posted earlier of Sydney and me in the front yard inspired New York City writer and artist Kris Dikeman, one of my students at Clarion West 2005, to send me this -- with apologies to Grant Wood, of course.

Given the countless American Gothic parodies and ripoffs, surely no artist deserves more apologies than Grant Wood! Not even da Vinci.

I've seen the actual painting only once, during a daylong visit to the Art Institute of Chicago in 1987, when I was in town for the national Society of Professional Journalists convention. (I see on the SPJ website that the convention is in Chicago again this year.)

While I'm freely associating, I should mention that Wood's two severe, vertical figures always remind me of the work of Wood's fellow regionalist Lee Brown Coye, best remembered today for his beautifully ghastly illustrations in Weird Tales and books from Arkham House and Carcosa Press. Check out the well done new book by Luis Ortiz, Arts Unknown: The Life & Art of Lee Brown Coye.

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