Analysis of a Photo

This picture, posted in the Wall Street Journal, portrayed the recent extreme arguments of both the far left and far right. He uses color to portray different emotions in the drawing, and to create a spectrum of both ideas. In this case, both men on each side of the drawing is protesting their positions to the other. The man who is on the left, is holding a sign that reads, “BAN ALL GUNS!”, while on the opposite side, the man is holding a sign that reads, “NO GUN LIMITS!” The artist uses the position of his male angry characters to coincide with their extreme viewpoints. The married couple in the middle is expressing the joining of both sides in middle to say, “Maybe we should worry more mental illness.”

In this drawing, the men on both sides are colored in a red filter. Usually, red color in art is used to personify anger or belligerence. Like a bull seeing red goes full charge to destroy what’s in his path. Just like the bull, the rage is premeditated by an emotional reaction. For the bull, the waving of a red cape, and for these two, the parkland shooting by an active shooter using a AR-15. The artist was trying to convey that both sides are completely mad about their solutions to gun violence. That it sounds like children yelling at each other, “I’m right! Your wrong!” The center is a calm blue/white hue, which shows us that the calm people in the middle are trying to solve the situation more constructively, by potentially giving a different understanding to the issue at hand, which is that people kill people, and that guns by themselves don’t.

It’s simple to see the the affiliations of both men on the outside. He places the man yelling to ban all guns on the left. Which is an accurate representation of the authoritative left’s agenda to pass legislation that would prevent the public consumption of firearms of any kind. He also positions the man on the right to scream for no gun limits. Which is what the libertarian right will like to keep as law. The artist does this purposely for showing both positions on the matter. He is also trying to convey that these positions are extreme and that it shows nothing but contempt for the other side.

Although, he uses one character for the right’s position, and one for the left’s, they are both largely encompassing the drawing to also show their view’s influence. Just like their own influence on the space of the art. The two in the middle ate slim and almost not important to the whole composition of the picture. If you looked at it from far back, it just looks like one argument vs another with nobody getting anywhere.

I think the artist is trying to imply that we should listen to the couple in the middle, about finding a new view on how we allocate and use ideas from both viewpoints. He’s trying to show the voice in the middle getting snuffed out by the overly at large mob of protest from both camps. That anything other than a moderate discussion about the life safety of citizens is just grown-ups acting like children to earn a win for their respective political agendas.

by Daniel C

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