Its a heartbreaking scene - what is happening in NY as I watch from NJ and worry about my family living in Queens - and as much as people want to divide us we have bigger reasons to unite. This made me think about today's artist American painter, 89 year old Jasper Johns, specifically His piece Flag 1954-1955.
"The symbol of the American flag, to this day, carries a host of connotations and meanings that shift from individual to individual, making it the ideal subject for Johns' initial foray into visually exploring the "things the mind already knows." He intentionally blurred the lines between high art and everyday life with his choice of seemingly mundane subject matter. Johns painted Flag in the context of the McCarthy witch-hunts in Cold War America. Then and now, some viewers will read national pride or freedom in the image, while others only see imperialism or oppression. Johns was one of the first artists to present viewers with the dichotomies embedded in the American flag. Johns referred to his paintings as "facts" and did not provide predetermined interpretations of his work; when critics asked Johns if the work was a painted flag, or a flag painting, he said it was both. As with other Neo-Dada works, the meaning of the artwork is determined by the viewer, not the artist."
"Everyone is of course free to interpret the work in his own way. I think seeing a picture is one thing and interpreting it is another." Jasper Johns