Homework #2

The contemporary art artist Carrie Mae Weems uses appropriation to create her own works of art. She appropriates the well known Swiss artist J.T. Zealy’s daguerreotypes and makes them her own. She changes the color of the images to red and black and puts text across them. Each picture has texts across them and when it is read consecutively tells a story. The story speaks of the hardships African Americans faced during slavery. The pictures and words show the ways African Americans were viewed, how they were treated, and the various things they were reduced to do as people. It is very possible to understand what these people went through especially with the words given. The body language and facial expressions show some people with no interest in taking these pictures. Once you read the text and look at the images it is easier to understand the image and what went on behind it. The work without the text would be able to express some situations but not all. Some pictures would look like every day people while others would show the struggle of slavery. Weem’s project was absolutely amazing. It gave a story behind each and every picture. The pictures go perfect with the words. Without the words the pictures would not do enough justice in telling her story. The message is strong and firm and makes you want to know more of what is going on behind each picture and the person’s emotion.

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