Transmitting Culture Through Art:
- QUESTION: What are the most important differences between art, tagging, and graffiti?
- VIEW: Sofles “Limitless” Video (the artists were given permission to paint the inside of an abandoned warehouse, and limitless paint and supplies -- do not try this around town)
- LESSON: Today you will interpret and evaluate the various ways in which events are presented and information is communicated by visual image makers. You will also recognize strategies used by the media to inform, persuade, entertain, and transmit culture.
For fun: Check out images of Flash Gordon's spaceship." Frank Romero says that the flying iron at the top left of the painting is an homage to Buster Crabbe, the first multi-medal athlete of 1934's LA Olympics, who later portrayed Flash Gordon in the movie series.
BACKGROUND: People in Los Angeles spend a lot of time in their cars. For many L.A. residents, a car is just a way to get from here to there. But for some, a car is a status symbol and cherished possession. Some people love to take drives just to see different parts of the city, while others complain about traffic, smog, and noise. You will write a five-paragraph essay in which you synthesize LA freeway mural art, a news article, and your own experiences with life in Los Angeles.
ASSIGNMENT View the image above, Frank Romero's "Going to the Olympics, 1984."
- In an informational paragraph, write a detailed description of what you see in this image, especially symbols and their placement. What are some of the possible meanings of all of these images?
- In a rhetorical (persuasive) paragraph: Based on this image, infer how Romero might feel about our city's car culture. How does the artist's choice of colors and shapes create a mood for this picture of life in Los Angeles? Give specific examples from the image to support your opinion.
- Read the following articles and essays, and view Frank Romero's mural as it was in 2009, then write the assignment:
- this LA Times Article and
- this article about Frank Romero's mural, and what has happened to it since it was created in 1984.
- Radio news story on LA Murals
- the artist
- the people of the city
- Write a rhetorical paragraph: To what extent do you agree or disagree with Frank Romero's response to the destruction of his artwork? Use evidence and examples from your readings, your observations about life, and your own personal experiences to support your argument.
- Write a rhetorical paragraph: To what extent do you agree or disagree with the city of Los Angeles's response to the destruction of mural artwork? Use evidence and examples from your readings, your observations about life, and your own personal experiences to support your argument.
- Conclusion: In a rhetorical paragraph, describe a moral/ethical response to taggers' destruction of the artistic murals in Los Angeles. Should the murals be there to begin with? Are they worth protecting and restoring? What are the best ways to save our city's artwork? Who should be responsible for the expense?
The mural in 2009.
“Going to the Olympics” Mural in 2013