Another Pilot Down: The Artwork of George Gonzalez

Monday, March 9, 2009

Donut Hole

Here is an excerpt from my Appropriation homework assignment:

1. Is your identity relevant to your action of appropriation?

In some ways, my identity is in the style of how I appropriated the images and how they are drawn. My style or technique is often dominated with muddy and faded colors (mostly yellows, reds, and browns). Also aside from a bulk of my work being slightly political, the “torn” paper-like imagery is very dominate in my other pieces.

2. What symbol is appropriated? What does that symbol usually mean? How is that symbol interpreted by many people?

For the most part the two real “main” symbols I appropriated are the Statue of Liberty and a donut. The torn paper-American flag is mostly added to unify both of them.

The Statue of Liberty as it stands, is associated with the United States. It symbolizes freedom, democracy, and the dreams we as Americans have. Those all over the world would think the same thing even if they are not Americans or have never been to America. The Statue of Liberty is the most representational figure of the United States (far more than the bald eagle or Liberty Bell).

A donut is a tasty snack. It’s a kind of “junk” food that most like to indulge in every now and then. It’s sugary, fattening, and is definitely considered unhealthy if a person likes to indulge in many donuts periodically.

The American flag is just that; the official flag of the United States of America. Like the Statue of Liberty it is synonymous with democracy and freedom.

3. How did you go about appropriating the item? What activities did you do to aid the in the appropriation?

I became inspired to appropriate these items after watching a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial on television. While the commercial mostly focused on how Dunkin’ Donuts’ coffee is preferred over Starbucks’ coffee, the key factor that inspired me was their slogan, “Dunkin’ Donuts: America runs on Dunkin’.”

Inspired by Dunkin’ line and the “Big Boy” restaurant statues, I incorporated the Statue of Liberty as if it were “Big Boy.”

Instead of holding the iconic torch, I drew Lady Liberty holding up a giant donut as a way of playing on the Dunkin’ Donuts slogan.

4. In what way did you attempt to change the meaning of the symbol or society’s perfection of it? What is the overall message you attempted to convey? Were you successful? How did your audience respond? What would you do differently next time?

I didn’t really attempt to change the meanings of these items as I mostly tried to play with the images set around this particular corporate slogan. I tried to convey that line with what I felt to be as “appropriate” images that went along with that saying. My intent was to be humorous and funny and I believe I was pretty successful in doing so.

Other than a few pats on the back with how the shading and colors turned out (most if not all) those whom I’ve shown the picture too have laughed or found it to be hilarious. Which is good for me.

I think if I were to do this again, I wouldn’t have tried to make it as detailed as I did. I spent a really long time on it and I would have loved to also thrown in the Dunkin’ Donuts logo and slogan on the actual drawing as oppose to digitally putting it in on computer.

5. Why did you appropriate the item? Who is the intended audience?

As I stated on question 3, I appropriated the images as a take on the Dunkin’ Donuts slogan. I wanted to make a humorous drawing that appropriated the line in a slightly dark context.

My intended audience is anybody with a sense of humor. I don’t think there is anything really offensive about my piece, so I don’t think it anybody can get offended by it. Unless of course, one is extremely conservative and does not take kindly to those who alter the American flag or Statue of Liberty as I have done, in which I can understand.

Unlike my other works which are very political and highly religious, this particular piece is intended to be funny and for the post part be taken as satire.


K C said...

I'm sick of the word "appropriate" now.

Jorge Gonzalez said...