Individual Voices: Helena Matheson

Dirtbag by Eroyn Franklin

The image I chose was from the graphic novel Dirtbag by Eroyn Franklin. This painting looks like its been done with water  color, which is one of my favorite mediums in art. I think water color is really expressive of emotion and gives a really rich and organic display of colors. This particular painting shows a family of four sitting together, holding each other. They are painted in shades of orange, with who is supposed to be Franklin herself in the horizontal stripes and her father in the vertical stripes. In front of the family is a large house being burnt to the ground. The majority of this painting is similar, if not the same, shade of blue, including the ground, the house, and the sky. Within the windows of the house and rising from the roof are shades of light yellow and white, signifying the fire and smoke within. The movement of the image pulls your eyes into the family, and then to the dark background.

I think what drew me to this image is the contrast between the family and the burning house. Her father has his arm wrapped around his family, and his posture almost seems calm watching this massive house fall. I think there is some symbolism in this image. What it makes me feel is that you can never know what is going on inside someone. They can look pristine and like they are living the best life possible, when inside they are broken and crumbling. The blue of the house surrounds and envelopes them, trapping them within something bound to fall apart. I think this image is really important when showing someone’s real authentic truth, no matter how dark and twisted that it may be. I think it brings more attention to the reality of people’s inner demons and how they have the capability to overtake someones life, and the implications that may be caused by your own family. I am glad there are no words included in this image, as I think it is far more powerful standing alone and letting the viewer interpret the art in their own individual way.

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