This is The New American Gothic by the artist Criselda Vasquez. It’s obviously an hommage to American gothic by Grant Wood. I like it, I like the style and how simplified the composition is, I think the colors work in the same way the original does but bring a different tone. I think it’s funny, too. It makes a statement about what the standard American family looks like and it asks a question about where the middle class has disappeared. There’s just one thing: Where is the Gothic?

It shows the Astro and nothing but as the background. There are no gothic visual elements in this picture that I can find. But I dunno, maybe I’m blind so you can help me with a comment, I just want some help clearing this out. In the original the ‘gothic’ is the arch of the window.


Why didn’t the artist put a small fingerprint in the shape of the gothic window on the Astro, for example? Because I’m doubtful that the artist was oblivious to this. The most obvious answer is that the composition is enough of an hommage to bring the original to mind, which this definitely did. That he felt that bringing in all the original elements would be kitsch and unnecessary. Which I agree with, too. So technically it’s a success, I knew instantly to what it’s referring to. I’m just not sure that this is enough to earn the title of Gothic in the name. I feel that if you’re already making an hommage, a reinterpretation - that you have to apply the same creative process to all areas of the original piece - and that includes the naming. Tell me what you think.

Thank you for your considerations.

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