Wednesday, December 19, 2012


The Best Renditions of "American Gothic" by Spanish Teenagers

I work in a high school just outside Madrid. When I realized that my students couldn't name a single American artist, I decided to give them a crash course in the biggies. (I've never been a huge Rothko fan, but let me tell you, I started to come around in the process of explaining to a room of sullen teens why he matters. I ended up closing my eyes and grabbing at my heart a lot, and I definitely said at one point: "Being surrounded by his paintings is like reading a poem." What??? They weren't convinced.)

I ended the class with an activity in which I described paintings that students couldn't see, and they had to draw them: "There is a woman on the left and a man on the right. The man is bald and wearing round glasses," etc. Here's what they came up with for Grant Wood's "American Gothic."

Bonus: The Best Hurricane Sandy Missive I Received

"Down by the Fairway waterfront where all of those artist studios are the surge broke into the first floor studios drawing out paint and chalk across the whole walkway, splashing it back up against the side of the building, wave by wave, making this insane rainbow colored splatter paint all across the Red Hook shore. There must have been mostly red paint because the ocean in that little alcove has turned a deep maroon." –my friend Rita

Gillian Brassil teaches English in Madrid.

31 Comments / Post A Comment


Man, was #4 even trying?


That said, #5 is totally legit.


@frigwiggin #4 is what mine would look like if I was trying. And I've seen the picture.


@SarahP Er, I guess it's actually #5, and the good one is #6.


@SarahP Oh, whatever, like we have time to count.


@frigwiggin I just needed people to be clear on the fact that I can't draw.


Your friend Rita needs to send us pics!


@shannanigans How beautiful does that sound?!?!

Edit: How insensitive does the above sound?!?!


I want to teach in a high school outside Madrid and do this. Jealous of your life.


I think #6 wins!


I love the Mad Men hair on the woman in the picture with the blue ink.


@olivebee I also love the "Sunday Comics" look of the sketch-like one after the text.

Lady Humungus

@olivebee Beat me to it! I came over here from my RSS to say just that. That is some fab hair.


This would be a great party game! Although I'd have to pick more obscure works of art.


@Decca Or get dumber friends, I suppose.


@Decca I dunno, even if I were working from a fairly solid memory of American Gothic, I'm pretty sure the results would still be...odd.


@Decca There is a party game kind of like this, called pictionary telephone, where you write down a sentence and pass your paper around a circle - the next person illustrates your sentence and folds the paper back so the third person can only see the picture, and they have to write a sentence describing it, and so on - usually with 3 sentences and 3 drawings per paper. It's loads of fun!


@highfivesforall THIS IS MY FAVORITE PARTY GAME! My friends and I just call it "the paper game" though, and I sort of thought this one guy I know made it up.


#2 bears keen resemblance to Larry David.


@xxAnniexx THANK YOU that was going to bother me forever.

They also both look kind of like the parents from Calvin and Hobbes.


gothic2 is amazingly great.


These are really great. You can instantly tell what painting it is! Very cool idea.


#6 has totally seen the painting.


@krisisisipoo Totally. I smell a cheater.



Look at their faces! They say: "Oh please, Spanish teens, you can do better than that."


@Rock and Roll Ken Doll Fifty-year-old Kristen Dunst is judging you


Related? http://thepokeymansproject.tumblr.com/


@lindsey@twitter Oh nooo am I going to all the way through this tumblr, again, and laugh 'til I hurt at all of them, again? Yes.


They couldn't even come up with Andy Warhol? Man.

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