Congratulations, edizioni Fosco Fornio selected Love in time of quarantine (separation gothic) for American Gothic — 90 years, new conceptual directions.
You can view all finalists here.
As he Grant Wood himself explained, (with American Gothic) he aimed to create a positive statement about rural American values and provide an image of reassurance at a time of great hardship and disenchantment brought by the Great Depression. For the artist, man and woman in the painting represented survivors. But although this painting quickly became the very icon of Americana and nearly as famous as La Ioconda, it’s reading remains quite complex. Some art critics, such as Gertrude Stein and Christopher Morley, subsequently saw the American Gothic painting as a satire of rural small-town life, while others saw it as a depiction of steadfast American pioneer spirit. Wood himself gave a somewhat confusing statement: There is satire in it, but only as there is satire in any realistic statement. These are types of people I have known all my life. I tried to characterize them truthfully — to make them more like themselves than they were in actual life.
Anyway, my own take on the subject also relies on the satire, not as toned down as Grant’s own, but also not as the single point of view. As Grant’s painting responded to the Great Depression, my photography series titled Safe socializing in time of quarantine responds to the pandemy. The piece Love in time of quarantine (a.k.a. separation gothic) folows other works in terms of concept, displaying ourselves not only distanced and separated, but additionally isolated by being put in glass jars, one might even say pickled (as in a pickle). Not only are we separated by glass but also our presence is virtual only, our faces shown on pickled smartphones. At this point I must admit my ignorance regarding American Gothic, I allways thought the couple on the painting is ment to be a regular couple, not a father and a doughther, (but then agan I always maintained that misinformation is the very source of creatitvity) so by splitting the iconic painting in half and putting bolth virtual halves in separate jars I hoped to amplify the absurdity of the situation the pandemy has put us in. With the intention of making it obviously satirical but also a bit overdone to the point where it’s severity becomes not as grave as we are told, or may fear ourselves. If there’s one thing I wanted to say with the series: it’s tough, quite unexpected and absurd but this too shall pass one day. Or so we hope.
The Book in the making: