The New Divide

The New Divide - The New Divide by Marco Mujica IDH 2121,...

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The New Divide by Marco Mujica IDH 2121, Valencia Community College Professor Sparks 14 February, 2008
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Mujica The New Divide The 20 th Century was that of rapid change for the world; democracies fell, economies collapsed, nations fought each other in World Wars. The United States had well secured its place within the world’s power structure by the turn of the century. When the stock market crashed in 1929, its effects were felt throughout the world as well as the United States. When World War II hit the United States with the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, our country banded together, started heavy manufacturing of weapons through factories and began playing a larger role in the world’s affairs. After the War, an economic boom accompanied the Baby Boom; jobs were plentiful, households were prosperous, people were happy. The combination of cheap, automated goods with the popularization of the television created a consumer society in which brands became recognizable and buyable. Competing companies created brand superiority and brand recognition. Things returned to a more conservative version of the 20s where personal freedoms and entertainment were prioritized. The paradigm shift in American values during the mid-20 th Century created a negative influence in personal freedom by fathering meaningless consumerism, rampant drug use and violence in response to the civil rights movement. These elements can be seen in pop art, rock ‘n’ rock music and political speeches. Andy Warhol’s (1928-1987) Boxes (1964) reflected America’s obsession with name brands. The Beatles’ song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (1967) was a poorly shaded metaphor for the use of psychedelic drugs. Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr’s (1929-1968) Letter from Burmingham Jail (1963) showed how people took unjust action against African Americans in response to the civil rights movement. The paradigm shift 2
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Mujica of the mid-20 th Century created an ideal of personal freedom that America was not ready for and negative aspects came from it. Andy Warhol was an artist, but not in any way a traditional form of the word. His art and methods were a response to the rampant American consumerism that began in the mid-20 th Century. Using modern methods of mass production (silk screening, photography), he gave birth to “serial art” (Ganis). One of his more recognizable pieces is his three-dimensional model Boxes . In short, it is a stack of Brillo and Campbell’s soup boxes. That’s it. Any random person would mistake this piece for what it looks like; just a bunch of boxes, but there is more to this than meets the eye. William B. Ganis, author of Iconophilia , describes Warhol’s use of repetition as an infinite punctuation mark. “By completely covering the canvas with images, Warhol suggests that the picture plane continues ad infinitum and that there are always more images beyond the frame.” While Boxes does not continue on a canvas, it does show an immense amount of similar objects, adding to their significance. In addition, the boxes
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This note was uploaded on 09/14/2011 for the course IDH 4 taught by Professor Frame during the Spring '08 term at Valencia.

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The New Divide - The New Divide by Marco Mujica IDH 2121,...

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