Recently I’ve been wondering if I have been too rigid about “Brandt’s Trite List.” The list can be found from a link on the RHHS visual arts page. Items on the list include things like dolphins, hearts with arrows, suns with eyeglasses, rainbows, and cartoon characters. I introduce the Art I’s to this list hoping that they will begin the process of thinking of new metaphors and creating their new symbols.
When I introduce the list, I make it known that it is not a list of things you can’t use. It is merely a list of symbols that are incredibly popular. By nature, there are no rules in art as far as subject matter.
Jim Dine is a Pop artist (not by chance that this movement is mentioned) that is known mostly for his use of hearts. Born in Cincinnati, OH in 1935, he helped to redefine the concept of art by using these “overly used and popular” subjects. He is associated with other pop artists such as Claes Oldenburg (incredibly large spoon with cherry), Andy Warhol (soup cans and Marilyn Monroe) and Roy Lichtenstein (comic art paintings).
Some argue that he has just completed his best piece this year (2008), entitled Walking to Borås, in which he created a tall bronze Pinocchio walking towards the local Swedish city.
Although I feel strong that art students should know what images are used the most, I am in no way implying that using the popular symbols is not allowed.