Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Updating Norman Rockwell’s ‘Four Freedoms’ for a Modern, Diverse America

By Fayemi Shakur
“Freedom of Worship” (2018) by Hank Willis Thomas, Emily Shur, Eric Gottesman and Wyatt Gallery. Image courtesy of For Freedoms
Norman Rockwell’s “Four Freedoms” series presented an image of America intended to bolster patriotic spirit during World War II. It was, however, a selective celebration. Using Rockwell’s paintings as a starting point, Hank Willis Thomas has reimagined the illustrator’s vision by recreating scenes that include faces that reflect this country’s complexity and diversity. Mr. Thomas — whose previous projects have examined race, commerce and advertising — enlisted the photographer Emily Shur, the video artist and activist Eric Gottesman, and the photographer Wyatt Gallery to produce the work exhibited in “For Freedoms: Where Do We Go From Here?” now at the International Center of Photography Museum. [More]
"Freedom of Worship" (1943) by Norman Rockwell; oil on canvas; 46 in × 35.5 in; Collection of the Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, Massachusetts