Monday, November 26, 2007

Painting by Numbers

The cover (above) of the November 26, 2007 issue of TIME features a reworking of Norman Rockwell’s Triple Self Portrait (below, from 1960) for their Special Report: America by the Numbers. It’s interesting how, as much as Rockwell is maligned, he remains an integral part of American visual culture. TIME Magazine, of course, will never be charged with being cutting edge, so Rockwell remains a “safe” choice, at least in how I see their thinking. I find it interesting, too, how the manipulator decided to forego the division of states into “blue” Democratic and “red” Republican for a multicolored map, either to avoid anachronism or just the agita that usually accompanies American politics. I wonder if the TIME illustrator even noticed the portraits of Durer, Rembrandt, Picasso, and Van Gogh tacked to Rockwell’s easel as inspiration, showing the Europhilia of that most “American” of American artists.


Tree said...

Have you been to Rockwell's home and his museum? I went once and enjoyed it and Stockbridge is a neat town, too.

Bob said...

Hi, Tree,

I've never been to Rockwell's home and museum, but there used to be a Rockwell Museum here in Philadelphia in The Curtis Center, where The Saturday Evening Post used to be published. They had every cover he did for The Post. The collection's now at The Atwater-Kent Museum in Philadelphia. It's very worth seeing, too.