“Mid American” by Ed Paschke in 1969. Strangely resonating…

October 25, 2009

in a picture is worth a thousand words

Mid American

This painting was by Ed Paschke in 1969. 40 years ago. It is on exhibit at the new modern wing of the Art Institute of Chicago. For some unknown reason, I found it sad and strangely resonating when I saw it for the first time. And till this day, I am haunted by it.

“The inscription on his shorts, Our Cover—like the tattoo on his chest, the mask on his face, the baseball mitts that float next to him, and his athletic attire—suggests the social markings used to conceal, protect, and layer a middleclass, middle-American identity.” (From the Art Institute of Chicago website)

I am pretty damn sure that the artist didn’t have someone like me in mind when he created this piece. I am as far away from “Mid American” as possible. Perhaps it is the longing to belong that sometimes creeps into my subconsciousness? The exhaustion from wanting to appear normal? Blend in. Quiet the noises. No need to be so goddamn vigilant all the time.


Jennifer Lynn October 26, 2009 at 7:57 am

When I first glanced at it I thought….”neat, wrestling!”….Then I looked again….and again…..and I made me sad too.
.-= Jennifer Lynn´s last blog ..Insanity Update: Fit Test 2 =-.

Velva October 26, 2009 at 4:06 pm

I am staring at this piece of work and I can’t see the “Middle America” I know this painting is deep but, all I see is some wrestler dude with wings. I am obviously missing something very important here.
.-= Velva´s last blog ..Prosciutto-Wrapped Greens =-.

Absence Alternatives October 26, 2009 at 6:59 pm

@ Jennifer Lynn
Sorry for making you sad… :-( Sometimes I can be a Debbie Downer. Taking my medication now (aka Vodka). LOL

Absence Alternatives October 26, 2009 at 7:00 pm

@ Velva
Nah. I can be a bit bi-polar. Yesterday I was obviously on a down cycle. You posted something new already? I need to hop over to your blog now. 😉

Mish November 2, 2009 at 10:30 pm

Ed Paschke’s work is currently being featured in several t-shirt designs at the Flux Collection . We are also currently designing a messenger bag based on his work! We are a Chicago-based company using fine artists’ paintings, sculptures, photographs, and drawings to create wearable art.

Please check us out- feel free to take 10% off any purchase by using coupon code MFlux10.

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