American Art for This 4th of July! Top Lists .magSlideContent .slides img { display: block; width: 100%; } .magSlideContent{ border: 4px solid #ffffff; } July 4, 2018 Elena Martinique A philosophy graduate interested in theory, politics and art. Alias of Jelena Martinović. The 4th of July is certainly the most American of all American holidays. A holiday which commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, aka the birth of their nation, it embodies the essence of the American Dream and everything it represents. Throughout decades, the American dream took many forms. The art world chronicled its birth and death. To celebrate the 4th of July, we bring together works by famous American artists who tackle the concept of the American Dream in a variety of ways. The best part is that you could own these works right now! Featured image: Devin Miles – American Boy, 2017. All images courtesy of their respective galleries. Robert Indiana – The American Dream, 1997 Over the course of the artistic career that spanned several decades, Robert Indiana created one of the most iconic and widely reproduced artworks of the 20th century. His bold rendering of the word “love”, comprised of two parts of colorful capital letters stacked in a square, in which the letter O swoons on its side, has became as universal as the word itself. In 1997, the artist produced a set of 30 screenprints in color under the title The American Dream. This collection also includes works that the artist produced in 1961. He was inspired by Mae West, much traveled U.S. Routes 40, 29, 37 and 66, the five bases of The American Game, Pin Ball Machines and Juke Boxes, roadside cafes, namely the “well-established ethic in all realms – spiritual, economic, political, social, sexual and cultural.” See more info about the work here! Helder Batista – American Flag Gun A French contemporary artist, Helder Batista works in various techniques including sculptures, neon, inclusions, and installations. Using everyday objects, the artists address the themes such as nonsense, consumerism, globalization and over-consumption. The work American Flag Gun is a part of her acclaimed series Flag Guns, where he used the form of a revolver wrapped in a flag and solidified with a fiber rising coat. A work with multivalent layers of meaning, it is both a subversion of a symbol of power and a biting satire on American Imperialism, as well as high rates of gun ownership. The artist refuses to elaborate on the symbolism beyond admitting that he is toying with the power of symbols. See more info about the work here! Robert Rauschenberg – Flag, Guggenheim Retrospective Limited Edition Plate, 1997 One of the central figures in the development of post-war American art, Robert Rauschenberg created works that bridge the gap between Abstract Expressionism and later modern movements. Having an innovative approach, he expanded the former boundaries to open up the possibilities of experimentation for generations of artists to come. This work is part of the limited edition of six plates that have been printed and published by the Guggenheim Museum, New York on the occasion of the artist’s retrospective at the museum. Each of them features a motif from his rich career. Find more info about the work here! SEEN – Captain America A living legend of the graffiti scene, SEEN first became active on the street of New York City in the early seventies when graffiti was in its inception. He is best known for vibrant and colorful lettering and masterful portrayals of mass-media cartoon characters and comic book heroes. In this work, SEEN has appropriated the character of Captain America, one of the most recognizable images in American contemporary culture. Find more info about the work here! Devin Miles – American Boy, 2017 A German contemporary artist, Devin Miles is widely known and appreciated for his Pop Art depictions of famous people and imagery. He has developed a new and distinct contemporary style which combines screen printing and painting. He is often described as the “Keeper of Tradition” of the German “Modern Pop Art” art scene. In the work American Boy created in his recognizable visual style, the artist combined various symbols that constitute Americana – the image of James Dean, famous New York cabs, the American flag and imagery of George Washington from one dollar bill. Find more info about the work here! Pure Evil – America’s Nightmare My Enemies are in Power, 2017 A British graffiti artist, Pure Evil is known as a stablemate of Banksy. Heavily inspired by skate culture and graffiti artists from the west coast, he explores the darker side of the wreckage of Utopian dreams and the myth of the Apocalypse. In the work America’s Nightmare My Enemies are in Power, the Statue of Liberty is depicted crying, created with a drip of spray paint that became a trademark of Pure Evil’s practice. See more info about the work here! Copyright – American Princess (Stars and Stripes), 2016 A British street artist, Copyright has been spray painting for the last 10 years. After appropriating his moniker, he became known for painting roses all over. The word is that one Valentine ’s Day he sprayed pink roses along the route his girlfriend took to work. Juxtaposed with the American flag, the work American Princess (Stars and Stripes) from 2016 shows a beautiful girl with colorful roses in her hair – a trademark motif of the artist. Find out more about this work here!

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