Joining The American Canon
2nd place in Derby #189: Woodland Animals , with 843 votes!
So that one squirrel, there’s something wrong with him. And the other squirrels, they don’t want to be there, so they’re screaming. Seems pretty direct, doesn’t it?
But then, what about what’s going on in the back? What about the squirrel who can’t help but watch from afar? Why add that squirrel for no reason? And then there’s the acorn. Could that be a symbol of positive reenforcement? And what about the lighting, bringing visual power to what would otherwise be the bad guy? Is this inversion of heroic roles a warning that we can not assume that everything in the work is as it appears?
Look close, now, at the dark woods, and consider how it would be a place where a scary squirrel could thrive and feel at home. Add that to meaning in the title, offering proof that our hero is an individual impossible to duplicate, and you’ve got the key to the deeper and more complex subtext behind this so-called simplistic gag, especially in light of… well, you can all go read the forum comments and see who’ll be threatening to run away and who’ll be throwing their nuts behind them.
Certain would-be art critics may not be intelligent enough to notice the obvious deeper meanings here, but it’s clear that this piece is from a master artist at the height of his powers. In this, a man takes his surroundings and translates them into a representation of both his inner feelings and his external facade. What we’re looking at is a work carrying just as much symbolic meaning as Rembrandt or DaVinci. These squirrels are not really squirrels. These squirrels are us ourselves. We stand in these woods each derby, and we are divided. The artist doesn’t pass judgment here. Rather, the artist merely exposes what we ourselves cannot.
Let the foolish nay-sayers nay-say. For those who truly know art know truly that today… today we stare into the face of art itself.
Wear this shirt: only if you’ve bought a second shirt, to frame and hang on the walls of your local museum. Don’t sour your investment before it matures.
Don’t wear this shirt: in public, lest the raw beauty of its meaning cause the more sensitive to faint upon the street and then be crushed by a passing car or carriage.
This shirt tells the world: “Van Gogh was hated in his lifetime as well, and today no one remembers the names of his critics. So think that over.”
We call this color: Thick As Asphalt If You Can’t See His Importance To The History Of The 21st Century.
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