Academic Master


Winter Final, Part Three

Identity issues refer to the way an object is presented and perceived by the audience. In particular reference to artwork, an image is created with the depiction of features and another factor that include gender, body shapes, ethnic references, etc. The artwork herein to study includes Chester Yoshida’s Oshogatsu JAM poster, Jacob Lawrence’s painting, “Vaudeville,” and Guillermo Aranda’s mural “La Dualidad” inside the Centro Cultural de la Raza offices in San Diego. Individual observation of the identity issues of each piece of art is illustrated below for reference:

Yoshida’s Oshogatsu JAM poster

The referred poster represents the image of Japanese culture with having the longest holidays of the year. The celebration goes for a month in January. However, the first three days are of primary importance. The poster contains an invitation for gathering at local church. Hence, it could be comprehended that they are a source of information which determines passive reaction over the audience by influencing the responses and determining the behavior of individuals. Perhaps, this is the reason that these posters were called ‘manner posters’ in the local term.

Jacob Lawrence’s painting, “Vaudeville.”

Jacob Lawrence’s painting, “Vaudeville,”: The illustrated poster of Jacob Lawrence is marked with a transformative style of depiction with altered psychological depth. In this poster, Jacob has used a mask a metaphor to represent the identity issues with greater depth. The visual has illustrated two comedians from the ethnic group of African American; the body language of the two is depicted as if they are frowning. While in the background a colored abstract wall is shown which is in contrast to the depiction of individuals. The image at a glance is seemingly quite unsettling. The message which could be perceived with the view of the painting is that no matter how disturb is the situation of African American but they are not given much importance by the other ethnic groups.

Guillermo Aranda’s mural “La Dualidad”:

The art piece is developed over the subjects of animals and pyramids with a tinge of strokes that presents the identity of Mexican – American. The overall image of the creation depicts the suffering and pain of the Mexican American which could be viewed with the display of fire and dragon pattern which is attacking a tied male figure. Thus, the pain and the hopelessness of the situation which is being faced by the particular group of ethnicity is reflected with its full potential. Also, the images of the circle and other shapes present a view that makes one comprehend as if all the world is on one side and the particular group is at another side, suffering and coping with distress.


In conclusion, it can be stated that the three visual offers opinion about the role and image of contextual ethnic groups. Also, they present insight over the image that these posters create for the audience. Hence, the responses of the public are determined over the perceived information which is directly or indirectly transmitted through the medium of creative arts. In particular reference to image building with the view of cultures, it can be stated that these posters focus on the major dilemmas or attributes of a particular ethnic group. For example, the dominance of traditional celebrations in Japanese culture, the position of African Americans in that given period and the state of Mexican Americans are the factors which illustrated the image of the ethnic group that is perceived by mass in general. Thus, the work of art aptly represents the image of the people and societies by marking the major points of concern of a group of people.



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