A Sunday on afternoon on the island of La Grande Jatte Living on the island in Paris is like a day dream for most of the people. The la Grande Jatte is an island in France, located at the very gates of Paris, in the river Seine. Today the island is a tourist destination as a public garden and a housing development area. Georges-Pierre Seurat, a famous French painter, used his pointillism painting technique to create a painting of the island la Grande Jatte in 1886. I consider Seurat’s painting to be a the “great” work of art because it was painted using the technique of pointillism, which involves contrasting mini dots or small brushstrokes of colors that when unified together, form an image. This makes the colors more powerful and brilliant than the regular brushstrokes. The painting is designed of the real place on earth which makes the place more significant and the design can be easily contrasted with the real place. Seurat worked on the painting for more than two years, mainly focusing on the landscape of the park. Seurat also designed it while he sat in the park everyday to preserve the exact color, light and form of the landscape in the painting, giving it an even better image than the real destination.
The painting “A Sunday afternoon on the island of La Grande Jatte” also has a significant meaning attached to the people of Paris. For Parisians, Sunday was the day to leave the heat of the city and head for the shade of the trees and the cool breezes that came off the river. As Seurat has shown every figure in the picture as either under the trees or an umbrella. The work by Seurat was clear from his intentions when he said “I want to make modern people, in their essential traits,move about as they do on those friezes, and place them on canvases organized by harmonies of color" (Seurat, 1800’s). The painting shows just that; an ordinary life,including ordinary people of the time when he made the painting in 1886. The painting is also considered a great work of art because it shows members of different social classes participating in different activities but at the same park,meaning the public parks are for everyone to relax and enjoy and no time is better spent than the time spent at the park, no matter if the person is rich or poor. Seurat was only 26 when he finished his best known painting, the Sunday afternoon on the island of la Grande Jatte.
Matt Wuerker has made the parody of the same painting and it resembles the original except it shows the use of cell phone and social media by the society today while sitting on the island of the la Grande Jatte. The parody of the painting has preserved the scene of the original painting showing similar people and shades from the trees. It shows the people sitting under the shade from the trees or an umbrella. The people are also sitting near each other in both painting which shows the important of the presence of people to sit near the beach. The parody shows the brighter colors in the painting and dots are clearly visible in the painting compared to the original. The original painting shows the people watching the sea and enjoying each others presence, where as the parody shows the people with earphones in their ears and using the cellphone or an iPad. The difference in the paintings is, the women sitting on the near left is doing something and is engaged with either a cloth which is being sewed or the meal that is being put together,where as in the parody, the women is just using the cellphone and doesn’t have anything on her side or in her hands. The parody picture shows almost everybody who was in original enjoying the scene, is now using the cellphone or an iPad, no matter if its someone young, old, male, female or even the dogs. There is a girl on the far right in the red dress in the original which is jumping and dancing, but that girl is no longer there in the parody. Only one man, sitting on the left with a women standing next to him, doesn’t seem to be using the cellphone in the parody picture. He seems perfectly okay in the original, however in the second picture he seems to be ignored by the women. The original picture also shows people standing next to the river and just staring at it, but in the parody picture, those people are not there anymore. The people in the original picture are looking up and it looks like they are talking to each other and relaxing but in the parody picture,they seem to be busy in their cellphones.
The parody picture by Matt shows that people go to the beach with their friends,family, and pets, and sit with their friends or family for relaxation, similar to the original. People like to spend their time near the river and with trees in the shadow,similarly shown in the both pictures. But what is significantly different in parody painting is that, people are no longer paying attention to the nature, not staring at the river and nor feeling each others presence. The original painting by Seurat was made for the purpose of showing ordinary people and ordinary lifestyles and the parody picture shows the same. But there has been a shift in the ordinary lifestyles of people overtime. People have started relying on their cellphones and use of social media has soared in the recent era.
The original paining also shows the accepting attitude of people from the way they are standing, looking at the sea,ready to talk to anyone who passes by and looking to each other but in the parody painting, the attitude changes to less open for acceptance and it shows people being busy in their work and doesn’t want the disturbance as shown by the couple in the front right. This is sure that the original picture is made in the 1886 and at that time there was no usage of the cellphones or earphones or iPads. The picture by Matt seems to be a recent painting, since the use of technology is heavily displayed and the shift in the lifestyles of people can be clearly seen as the person near the river who was just looking at the trees in the original starts taking the pictures of the trees in the parody.