Monday, May 15, 2017

Smart Art (Betsy Ross Edition)

You're a grand old flag,
You're a high flying flag 


And forever in peace may you wave.

 You're the emblem of
The land I love.
The home of the free and the brave.

Ev'ry heart beats true
'Neath the Red, White and Blue,

Where there's never a boast or brag.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

Keep your eye on the grand old flag.

Artist Jasper Johns was born on this day in 1930, and is still with us at 88.

Though I hear he's moved on to bald eagles.



  1. What an interesting post. With Memorial Day coming up.
    I bet most of America will not think of the flag they see so much on the pop culture jackets are based on Jasper John.
    When I hear his name I think of of William de kooning and Jackson Pollock. They are not my favorite artists but I understand their point of view.

    cheers, parsnip

  2. Parsnip, I don't know as much about museum-type art as I do graphic art (illustration, comic strips, etc) but it's my understanding that Johns, by painting a flag, was breaking free from the tenets of abstract expressionism, whose most famous practitioner was Pollock. Johns is actually considered a forerunner of Pop Art, whose most famous practitioner was Andy Warhol. One painted flags, the other soup cans--familiar objects.

    The thing that unites all "modern" artists, from Monet to Basquiat to whoever's come since Basquiet is the invention of the camera. How art is different than a photograph, that's what they're all trying to figure out.

    Incidentally, Johns never painted bald eagles. That was just a dumb joke to end the thing.


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