Art Comparison Essay

448 WordsNov 14, 20132 Pages
The two art pieces that are being compared have two deep meanings. While both The Builders and This is a family living in Harlem is similar in artistic techniques and visual observations, they are different in the meaning and themes. The two art pieces can be simply seen as two families having time together. But if they are both closely read, the meanings that Jacob Lawrence tried to get across will surface. In The Builders, there is a family of 4 African-Americans that are painted extremely dark walking on a cracked sidewalk. The time period is in the 70s. In the background there are 3 construction workers, one of which is Caucasian, building a fence. The family looks like they are not of the poor kind, but slightly wealthy. The shapes in the picture are definite and geometric. It is non-realistic and lacks dimension. The lacking of dimension gives the picture emphasis onto the fence. The fence is symbolizing the blockage of moving back to the newly abolished segregation and the family is not looking back, but moving forward. The painting also shows the abolishment of segregation. The white man is not in the fancy suit, but in the blue collared construction suit and the black man is in the business suit as if the roles of society were switched from the abolishment. Unlike The Builders, This is a family in Harlem shows the opposite of what is projected in subject one. In this is a family in Harlem, what is portrayed is a family living in poverty unlike the wealthy family in The Builders. Both of the families are African-American families. The second picture’s setting is in a small looking family room with an old wooden stove unlike the first picture’s setting being outside in a city. Both pictures look like they are time set in the 70s after segregation was abolished. In the first picture, it is obvious that the time period was after the abolishment, but many
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