Robert Gwathmey, Nobody
Hear Calls Me Citizen
Look carefully at the facial expression and body language of the
man in this painting. What do you think he is thinking and feeling?
Make a list of qualities we associate with lions in the wild. How
are these qualities altered when a lion is captured and becomes
a circus attraction? Which qualities are emphasized in the circus
poster here? Do you think this image of a lion is a true reflection
of its life in the circus?
Research the life of black sharecroppers
living in the south in the 1930's and 1940's. Can you think of parallels
between this life and the symbol of the circus lion?
Make a list of visual symbols you see in
this work. Based on your list of symbols and the title of the work,
what do you think Gwathmey's message was in this painting?
farmer who gives a share of his crop to the landowner in lieu of
an image that stands for an idea or object.
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