Apparently, Andy found it interesting that the only images he saw coming out of China were those of Mao. With this, he decided to add his flair to popular image. Similarly to his Campbell’s Soup Can images, Andy meant to comment on mass production and consumerism. From an American lens, I can see how interesting it is to think that capitalism might not be a preferred way of life in other countries, but marketing is marketing. These images of Mao are what the people were being fed. Was is because they believed in Mao? Or because it seemed to be their online option, with his photo plastered everywhere they turned?
We’ve lost so many lives to police brutality in the time since Basquiat graced the earth, yet he painted the feeling clearly. As a woman of color, I deal with my fair share of ugly stereotypes and (envy disguised as) hatred but I cannot compare my experience to that of a man of color. I’ve tried to read the invisible man and what strike me is that this painting is the exact opposite. On one hand, the person of color can feel like they are not considered worthy or part of society… on the other hand, a person or color can feel like a refugee.
On display in one of the Louvre’s great halls, this painting caught my attention because of its passion. The emotion in the people, the woman and the situation call for you to stop and stare. Not to mention, the painting is also quite large. Like the Statue of Liberty (which it inspired), the painting beckons your attention, guides your eye and inspires a seasons of hope & freedom.