Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"The Odyssey" by Romare Bearden

The Odyssey by Romare Bearden
     This painting reflects on how African Americans were suppressed by the white slave traders who took them from Africa. It shows a slave trading ship that has captured a Negro, and the natives on the shore look as if the are pointing and mourning the loss of their kin. It seems like this is when Africa was first discovered, before slavery. The island is totally uncorrupted but the bound person on mast of the ship is a fore warning of the slave trading that is to come.
    The theme of heritage and history is shown here because the painting is about slave trading. Its gruesome how the African American is bound to the flag pole of the ship as if they slave traders are trying to convey a message to the Africans on the shore. It looks like this is the start of the slave trade and everything else that followed after it.
   What really stood out to me about this painting was how gruesomely brutal the scene is which just made me had to choose it. In addition to bluntness of this painting I chose it because I liked the artist's choice of collage for the medium. The bold, solid colors and simple plant patterns drew me in. They figuratively screamed to me 'choose this painting!choose this painting!'
  What I can not get over is that its really gruesome how a person could just be bound to a flag pole like that, almost like an ornament or something. I really don't like this painting because I feel slightly sick every time I see it. Every time it reminds of all the people in the world who have been oppressed. By all standards this is a wonderful piece of art but I can't bring myself to agree with that. 

1 comment:

  1. I've never seen this painting before even though I'm somewhat familiar with Bearden's work.
    It's really messed up and I couldn't look at it long either...which I suppose is the entire point.