Author: dilewis2014

“New Releases”


Here is an image I stumbled upon while searching the web.  I knew right from the beginning that I wanted to talk about the representation of the image.  The representation of the image refers to the use of language and images to create meaning.  Roland Barthes rhetoric of the denotational and connotational message helps explain the image from my interpretation.  The denotation of the image consists of an empty room with bare white shelves.  There is a sign above the shelves that is vibrant with the words ‘New Releases’.  On the floor of the room are some sorts of DVDs or VHSs.  The connotative meaning of this image is significant in the sense that this room once was a thriving business back when going to stores like Blockbuster was the fad.  Now that times are more progressive and technology has taken a grip on society, stores like these become vacant and a past time.  The text in the image addresses the once popular trip of going to the ‘New Releases’ section in a store.  It also signifies the past by once again the hollowness of the room.  

*Fact* After researching further on this image, this photo was taken from a video store training video that all of their workers had to watch in like the 80’s-90’s.


Susie Ray’s Replica of Edouard Monet’s Painting


While searching for images, I came across this one by Susie Ray, who has been a copyist for more than 25 years.  Her work is so similar to the original even experts can’t tell the difference all the time.  What is interesting about the copying of images in her case, is that there are a demand for them, mostly by museums who use them when the original work is being cleaned, restored, or loaned.  Susie profits off the copies and her paintings have hung in galleries when the real painting was on loan.  What makes copying interest for her, is that she asserts that its important to not have a style of her own but must look like the original artist.  She doesn’t sell her paintings to buyers who are not aware that it is a copy before purchasing.  She adhere’s to strict copyright laws which permit copying 70 years after the original artist has died.  According to this information, I believe the copying of paintings increase the value of the originals and at the same time doesn’t decrease the value of the copy.  

James Dean



This is a photo of James Dean in 1955 taken for LIFE magazine in a spread called “Torn Sweaters.”  James’ gaze is directed right at the viewer.  The object he is looking into is obviously a camera, in which it likewise captures and holds the look of James.  His gaze can definitely be linked to traditional psychoanalytic theory in the sense that his gaze is intimate and can create fantasy.  His head seems to be tilted slightly down given the position of his chin and that can demonstrate desire for control over the object he sees.  Even though James is the object of the look, I still feel he holds more power given his status as a good looking actor.  But the person that is viewing this photo has power in the sense that one can choose to gaze at any section of this photo. 

 James is caught in between the dynamics of desire through trajectories of looking and being looked at among objects and other people.  The spectator (me) looked at James simply because I am fan of him and find him very attractive which created the source of my gaze.  However, James can be seen as a spectator as well in the sense that he is the one looking.

Nuremberg, Germany 1938


This image is one of many Nuremberg rallies that took place in Germany in 1938.  The photo was captured by Hugo Jaeger, who was formerly known as Adolf Hitler’s personal photographer in the years leading up to and throughout World War II.  The first thing about this picture which caught my attention is simply that it is in color.  Normally, we see pictures of this time frame in black and white; however the color seems to add a more reflective perspective of Nazi Germany and not just the negative denotation and connotation associated with this picture (as if in black and white), in which entails German Nationalism, anti-Semitism, and Nazi propaganda. 

I say more reflective because the first perspective that came to mind was a more realistic view of what life was like in Germany with such solid colors that symbolized their ethnocentric culture and most of the males at least seemed to be dressed in a uniform.  The fact that you can see their faces and clothes clearer in color than in black and white makes it more humanized.

The colors on the banner are significant because those were the main colors for their propaganda and created a deeper symbolism within the symbols itself.  There is linear perspective in this photo that shows the viewer these colossal swastika banners that are draping the street on every side of the buildings.  These banners were not going to go unnoticed to German citizens and this picture embodies the heavy use of symbolism in propaganda that sought to garner attention and loyalty, and to demonstrate the Nazi party as being very powerful.  So it puts a perspective that people delved into this culture in order to survive and finally have sovereignty which was not present prior to Hitler’s arrival and after the first war.  Germany was seen to be weak and was plagued by economic depression, scarcity of food, and resources that were vital.  So the fact that the National Socialist German Workers’ Party was able to accumulate this amount of people shows their strength as a nation and demonstrates their once super-powerful cohesive government. 

The photographer embodies perspective realism and his point of view seems to be coming from the initial starting point of the rally since you can see the vast amount of people subsumed on the side of the street all the way down to where it gets blurry.  The fact that most of the people’s heads are faced down toward the street and their body language is calm and neat, demonstrates that they are awaiting for somebody to appear or looking at who just drove past.