Searching around the internet and came across this image. It is a clear appropriation of the Orentialism painting La Grande Odalisque by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres in 1814. An Odalisque is a female slave who acted as a chamber maid to the harem of the sultan, who hopes to become a concubine. The Odalisque was the lowest in the Turkish hierarchy, and the most subjugated. This painting draws off that idea as this woman looks like an old prostitute, that hasn’t gotten many breaks in life. There are subtle differences between the two paintings though. This woman is more emaciated, whereas the woman in the Dominique painting is fuller, healthier looking. Emphasis is placed on the beauty of the Odalisque’s long back arch, almost to the point where it looks too long for human proportion. The woman in this picture has an almost grotesque back with the entire vertebrate visible, and her bony arm is what seems to be out of proportion, extending down to the ankle. The background in this picture is very minimalistic where La Grande Odalisque has lavish garments and silks. These differences may be meant to show the societal disjunction between prostitutes in the East Orient and the Western world, where prostitutes are more accepted.
I was looking at the Wall Street Journal online and on the front home page was this picture of the Boston Red Sox taking a picture with President Obama, specifically David Ortiz taking a “selfie” with the President. I think the Wall Street Journal is a very popular and well read newspaper, and with the added convenience of being online is even more accessible (though it costs a certain monthly fee) it can be considered mass media. It is a tradition that the winning teams of each professional sports team in America gets to go to the White House and be congratulated by the president; the Red Sox recently won the World Series. The media itself matters because the picture was taken with a digital camera, something that the vast majority of people are in possession of. The type of photo or “selfie” has been getting a lot of attention and becoming increasingly more popular; a selfie taken from the Oscars even broke the twitter record for most retweets. The fact that the President of the United States and a famous baseball player are taking “selfies” just like any common citizen is almost a homogenized and equal level type feel.
Up until recently, American society was one of wastefulness and excess. However, now there is a greater awareness on how much is being used. This advertisement for Denver Water demonstrates a shifting trend in American ideology from one of extravagance to conservation. This advertisement depicts an unfinished park bench that only has enough completed bench for one person to sit down comfortably. The linguistic message states “use only what you need”, with the brand “Denver Water” underneath in smaller lettering. Having the rest of the bench there would only be wasting the extra resources that could be used in a more beneficial way. Portraying the bench in this manner opens makes the viewer think about conservation in way that is outside side of the box, in a very unique and clever way.
Typically water companies get paid based on how much water was consumed in a given period of time. The fact that this water company’s advertisement is preaching saving and to use only the minimal amount necessary even though it may cut into profits, lends credence to this growing ideology of conversation and frugality.