Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
November 18, 2008

Your Turn: Michelle, Sasha And Elizabeth

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There is an interesting post up at Michelle Obama Watch discussing Elizabeth Peyton’s painting “Michelle and Sasha Obama Listening to Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention August 2008” which has just been added to current her retrospective at New York’s New Museum.

MOW concludes that the painting a.) is only coincidentally related to a photo of daughter Bernice resting her head on Coretta King’s lap at Martin Luther King’s funeral, b.) is based on a photo of Sasha and Michelle in a tired moment during the twi-night DNC extravaganza at Invest Stadium, c.) is fair game as subject matter, and d.) regardless of Sasha’s shading or Michelle’s expression or Peyton’s reputation (pro and con), does not hold any “hidden meaning” because sometimes “a painting is just a painting.”

By “hidden meaning,” maybe MOW is referring to something specifically controversial behind the creation of the imagery. Fair enough. But then, when is a painting (especially one this socially and politically rich) ever just a painting?

Besides encouraging your thoughts, I want to encourage all The BAG’s loyal lurkers out there to also jump in.

(image 1: art news; image 2: Fox News via It’s My Mind. image 3: michelleobamawatch.com)

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