Last weekend I saw something so relevant to youth culture today that it could have been created last week. As it is… it was painted in the 1950’s.
Saturday my wife and I joined some friends and visited our local art museum to see the Norman Rockwell exhibit. Now, I don’t get very artsy in these blogs, and I won’t claim to be something I’m not. I can name a handful of artists and recognize their work, but most of you know that you’d be far likelier to find me at a Buffalo Wild Wings than a museum. But last weekend’s look at Norman Rockwell’s works really opened my eyes to how much Rockwell had his thumb on the pulse of youth culture in his day. And paintings like this one are almost timeless.
Isn’t that painting amazing? Simply titled, “Girl at Mirror,” this painting graced the cover of the Saturday Evening Post on March 6, 1954. Stare at the painting for a few moments and take in some of the details.
Notice the doll discarded on the floor. Is that symbolic of her attempting to cast away her youth? How do young girls do this today?
Notice the magazine with the picture of the model. Is that the standard she is trying to measure up to? What do our daughters try to measure up to today?
Notice her hands. Is this young girl secure in herself? What is she thinking as she sees her reflection? What do girls see today?
Notice the makeup and hairbrush at her feet. Are these what will replace the doll?
How relevant is this picture today?
As a youth worker and a parent, I might just show my kids this picture and ask them similar questions– a great little tool to get our kids thinking and talking.
The Rockwell exhibit was amazing. You can scroll down on this page and see a glimpse of some of the paintings I got to see firsthand. Amazing stuff. I have a new appreciation for the artist. I might just blog about a few other of his works.