As most of you know, I am a moderate. I also have a great deal of common sense, which is why I don't scream "Fire!" in a crowded theater, or "Racism!" unless it's blatant.
But I was shocked to find a famous Americana artist had recently produced a work of art that appears to me to be questionable at best.
My best friend (Pov) has a teenage daughter who is obsessed with jigsaw puzzles. Knowing this, we all buy her jigsaw puzzles whenever we can. If I opened a Christmas present to find a jigsaw puzzle, I would be sorely disappointed. However, there is nothing that Bugs likes better. A friend of her mother's recently donated over fifteen puzzles, and Bugs got to work.
The problem with Bugs' puzzle obsession is that once they're assembled, she can't bear to take them apart. That means that either her mother or I end up spending vast amounts of time covering the puzzles in Mod Podge and mounting them so that she can either keep them, give them to friends and family, or donate them.
This weekend I decoupaged about ten puzzles. I ran it like a production line, which is why I didn't notice this puzzle until the Mod Podge had dried. It's titled "Flights of Fancy." (click on the picture to view it in a larger version):
Now: What is wrong with this picture? (Hint: Look at the roller coaster)
That's right. The Confederate Flag is pasted all over it. I've written about the Confederate Flag before. I find it to be offensive for two reasons: It is a defeated flag, and it has become a symbol of racism.
But I thought, "OK. There are still some simpletons who think that it's 'charming'... that it's symbolic of a culture and not overt racism." So, I looked for the token black person(s) that might offset it.
I can't find any. And I looked over this puzzle diligently.
Could this be a simple oversight? Possibly. But I find the combination highly distasteful, none the less.
Perhaps Wooster Scott would argue that this is supposed to be a piece of Americana before (or during) the Civil War. However, the outfits are post Civil War era. I grant you that this was definitely a time of racism, but do we really want to celebrate it?
I am amazed that Wooster Scott's paintings are so popular. They're hardly my style. I enjoy art that appears to take true time, maturity, and thought. Her artwork looks as if a sixth grader did it. I would praise the sixth grader, but I can't praise a full-grown adult who produces such primitive art.
However, her paintings are apparently collected by some major celebrities, including "Marty Allen, Marlon Brando, Carol Burnett, Robert Conrad, Charlton Heston, Paul Newman, Leonard Nimoy, Victoria Principal, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sidney Sheldon, Nancy Sinatra, Sylvester Stallone and Loretta Swit... the list goes on."*
I wonder which one has Flights of Fancy hanging in their living room?
* from mgcpuzzles.com