American Gothic in other representations by Logan Miller

The “American Gothic” by Grant Wood is for sure an American Icon. Almost everyone in America recognizes the painting of these people, although most don’t really know where or when the picture is from. As advertising companies and other companies and political cartoonists tend to use icons in their work, they also do that for this painting.See the source image
In advertisements, this very known painting is used many times so that people can recognize the image the are seeing, and associate the product with the painting. Nescafè, a coffee brand, uses this painting with the two people in the picture shown with especially wide eyes, showing that they are wide awake due to Nescafè’s product that they are advertising, the Instant Espresso. Another example is when Naked Juice released an advertisement with two people with a pitchfork in between them, playing off of this painting. Another blog talked about the link between this ad and the painting, and has a hard time with it because the entirety of the ad is pretty much flipped around in the Naked ad [1]. I find this interesting and goes back to when we talked about how the subway advertisement with the Statue of Liberty created a lot of backlash for the negative connotations it had for Americans. It is interesting that this ad sexualizes the iconic painting and changes its meaning from hard workingness, etc to a lackadaisical nature, and yet it still has not caused an uproar, and I actually had to do a little bit of digging to find this. It shows that while this is an icon, it is not up to the caliber of the Statue of Liberty in terms of being recognized as a symbol for the American people.Compare
Forbes used this painting in a very similar way that Subway used the Statue of Liberty too, showing that the country is getting fatter by showing these two figures, but adding a significant amount of weight to them. Interesting depictions of the painting show the two people replaced by different characters, such as Kermit and Ms. Piggie, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Barack and Michelle Obama. I like how it associates pairs that people always think about, and in a way it shows other people who are hardworking, such as Barack and Hillary. See the source image
These different depictions of “American Gothic” by Grant Wood, as stated by Wanda Corn [2], don’t always get Wood’s point of view and idea for what he wanted to get across to come, but it is inspiring to see different ways and what it means to other people in America.

[1] rstanf3. “Let’s Critique a Naked Juice Ad!” Insert Name Here [Blog], 9 Mar. 2014,

[2]  Wanda Corn, The Birth of a National Icon: Grant Wood’s American Gothic (Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago, 1983) 253.

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