The flag. A classic American icon, even more than apple pie and baseball. Throughout the years, many artists have used the image of the American flag in their works. Andis Applewhite does the same in her show “Freedom.” In her artists’ statement, Applewhite states that she draws her inspiration from the flag works of Jasper Johns. The bright colours and big, flat shapes definitely channel Johns’ artistic style, with Applewhite adding her own unique flair to the mix.
There was one pair of prints that caught my eye immediately. Like all of Applewhite’s other prints, it is a flag, but it is a very unconventional flag. Instead of flat planes of colour, the stripes are actually bricks. There is not only the flag motif, but also an image of a street of sidewalk corner, which is a very interesting and unique idea.
These are not your typical flags. While a few are the recognizable red, white, & blue, most are not. There are flags consisting of your primary colour trio of red, blue, and yellow. One flag print is the polar opposite of the normal flag: green, black, and orange. And almost all of the prints have some form of text woven throughout.
Applewhite’s plan is to get you, the viewer, to think about freedom. About how one’s idea of freedom can be drastically different from another’s. About what freedom really means to oneself. “Freedom” opens this Independence Day weekend, perfect timing to get across Andis Applewhite’s message. Because when one can come up with an idea of what freedom means to them, then one truly understands what Applewhite’s prints are all about.
The above was written by our summer intern, Rachel Cohen. Stop by the Opening Reception tomorrow, 1-4 pm to meet Andis in person and see the show!