“What does the reader desire today?” the author asks himself as he sits down at his writing desk. “Serious and scholarly criticism of three baseball-themed clip-art images from the internet,” he answers his own self.
What does this striking image show? The three men embody an animal force deeply absorbed by a painstaking task. The contrast between power and helplessness is forcefully rendered. The background image of a triangle both brings together and rends apart the triumvirate.
This represents one of the most well-known occurrences of political propaganda. Red is commonly used within the genre to depict socialist elements such as flags and workers’ shirts. In this case, we find the abstract geometric shapes and color pallet of modernist art, and yet the poster has a real message — a reference to the revolution. The white circle represents the royalists from the old regime, and the red triangle represents the communists moving in and changing opinion. It has been described as a stylized battle plan for communist victory.
Intentionally or not, this piece invokes the inundation of the modern era by commercialization and indiscriminate “sameness.” Here we see an attempt to reject invention and nuance by creating the appearance of having been mass produced. Although not as shocking and vulgar as some early instances of pop art, the piece still managed to offend the art world’s sensibilities that had developed so as to partake in the intimate emotions of artistic expression.
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Carson Cistulli has just published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.