Today’s arts pick is a masterpiece that represents some of society’s most troubling problems. Though constructed of material commonly associated with childhood and innocence, the piece is an abstraction of the segregation and bigotry that pervade our culture.
The artist has chosen an unusual medium for this picture, one originally intended to act as a harmonious, complementary mixture. However, not only are the medium’s components separated by color (a statement about our tendency to self-isolate), they are arranged in a hierarchy, with the red focal point representing the upper-strata of the privilege pyramid.
This focal point is the springboard for further deconstruction of the work. The bull’s-eye location of the central element, as well as its red, dangerous color, symbolize the fragility of the hierarchy as the outer circles grow in number and power. The center cannot hold, and it is only a matter of time before the components decompose into their initial, heterogeneous condition.