Friday, March 12, 2010

Visual art analysis

The piece of art i'm looking at is Norman Rockwell's "Lift up Thine Eyes"Argument: The argument of this piece is that society has forgotten God and that we need to look back to him to find happiness in this life. As an enthymeme, it could be phrased as Lifting up our eyes to God will bring happiness to us because lifting our eyes to God reminds us of all the blessings we have, and anything that reminds us of the blessings we have will bring us happiness.

Audience: The audience for this argument is really anyone in society. Rockwell makes that clear with the broad variety of people walking around with their heads hung low in the foreground of the image. Yet, while his picture is a commentary on society as a whole, it does seem to focus on the wealthier class, and those who live in big cities. There is a more apparent problem of people forgetting God in these groups, as they tend to be more focused on careers etc.

How: The focal point of the picture are the words "Lift Up Thine Eyes" written on a church bulletin board. To contrast those words, below it walk a group of busy people who have there eyes focused on the sidewalk before them. Above the sign, a spiral of doves draws the eyes of the viewer towards the heavens, making them follow the advice from the church sign and lift up their eyes. The contrast of the words and the actions of the people depicted works on both a logical and an emotional level. Because we can see how the mass of people look, we logically conclude that they are not focused on God, and that has some influence on their demeanor. Emotionally we feel attached to the people as we think about how we often put ourselves in their place, becoming too busy for the divine.

Effectiveness: I think that the image is very effective in reminding us to look up to God. It makes you think about your own life, and if you are living life as one who only looks down, or if you are one who will follow the doves into heaven.

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