Critique This

by Lisa 

I now have a slideshow which you can see by clicking on Lisa Slideshow in the sidebar to the right. Many thanks, kudos and accolades to my blogging buddy Bill, who worked so diligently to iron out the kinks of getting it uploaded to Slideshare and for incorporating his entire IT department where he works for assisting in the technical difficulties.

 braid_small.jpgAt any rate, I got a comment on the slideshow (on Slideshare, not here on the blog), that a particular  viewer thought the drawing above called “The Perfect Braid” was freaky. ‘Chucky’ was the exact word he posted I do believe. I want you to know that my feelings are hurt. Why would anyone think this drawing was freaky? This is not the first ‘chucky-like’ comment I have heard like this. So I have decided to make all of you viewers an offer. I would like you all to write in, and analyze this drawing in an attempt to dispell these visious rumors that I create freak material. What does it actually mean to you? Please discuss it here, and at the end of this month, I will decide who has come the closest to understanding the meaning of it, and you will get a free miniature painting from me. I’m not sure which one, but it won’t be FREAKY. (Those of you who already know, and I know who you are, are not allowed to play!).

Also, please feel free to shower Bill with thanks and to convince him of the greatness of his efforts here to keep our blog in perfect working order. You know how shy he is and would never ask.

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14 Responses to Critique This

  1. grfxho says:

    I didn’t find it creepy or freaky or “chucky.” I immediately thought of Rapunzel and the need to have a method to escape or enable a rescuer to reach her.

    The imagery of the cross above her head, the two traditional photos on either side and the way she is perfectly groomed from head to toe in a very conservative girl’s clothes (and her expression) all add to that feeling. I see a house ruled by strict, religious parents, and a girl who’s life feels as empty as the doll house on the floor beside her.

    Her own doll is wild, unkempt, and undressed.. naked and free with her hair frizzing crazily. While she grows the perfect braid… one that looks remarkably like a chain (and mimics the psychological one she feels shackled with no doubt)… and when the braid is long enough, maybe she’ll cut it off and use it to climb out the window.

    I refuse to think of it as a rope she might hang herself with, although that did cross my mind after I looked again just now at her eyes and down-turned mouth.

    The drawing is beautiful, no matter what they say on Slideshare, Lisa.

  2. I found this a bit sad…I too looked at the entire image….cross, what seems to be the parents on either side of her, empty doll house….naked doll with unkept hair. Hmmmmm, think the hair will be her way out….her plan to escape when she is a bit older.
    No….not freaky at all….well done!

  3. lbtowers says:

    Thank you grfxho and pawprints. I knew I could count on you two. I can’t say a thing about your comments though I would like to. So far one of you is in the lead!!!

  4. Susie Ciufo says:

    Hi Lisa,
    I too thought the drawing was a little freaky at first. It is still a little depressing to me, the girl looks so alone. I did see the symbolism in the cross above her head, and the arrangement of all the items in the picture also form crosses, even the girl herself forms a cross. Even upside down the forms become a cross. Is the girl questioning her path in life, her religious beliefs, is she looking for escape? Is she Jesus? We’ll find out…………..

  5. Theresa says:

    1. I think that grfxho’s interpetation of “The Perfect Braid” is spot on. I would like to add that I don’t think that the cross has anything to do with religion but rather that the free spirit of the little girl was martyred for the sake of the perfect child. Her face isn’t exactly sad either, but rather, I think, a little bewildered. She seems to be asking, “Where is my rescuer? I have offered a way of rescue, but no one has come.” Remember, Rapunzel didn’t rescue herself, she had to wait for the prince to come along.
    So, did I win………:)
    The painting of D is wonderful. It brought into my mind’s eye exactly how he looked as a little boy. Kudos to you!(btw, that is how kudos is spelled.) *ducking to avoid smack across the head*
    And Bill, wonderful job on the techie side of the slideshow. And Kudos to you too. Okay enough already with the kudos.
    Have a wonderful day, I am outta here.

  6. lbtowers says:

    Thank you for your entry Theresa. At the end of the month you will be informed as to your status! Thank you for correcting my spelling as well. I HATE when that happens.

  7. Susie Ciufo says:

    I just realized something that I was a little suspicious about initially……….The little girl is you. After looking at the drawing of your son, he looks just like you.
    Susie Ciufo

  8. Pam says:

    I agree with grfxho that the girl wants or needs to be saved. Who or what will save her? Her parents, religion, a baby, a home, a prince? All of the above? Save yourself, child–all those other things might just make things worse. Well, a home is kind of nice if you stay away from evil lending practices.

    I love the drawing!

  9. Carolyn Davis says:

    I think grfxo is probably right. Once I read hers, it was hard to think for myself.
    However, I have viewed this drawing everytime I have been at CAI and have never thought of it as “creepy”. I am not given to studying symbolism in literature or art so my impression is just straight. I see a child of the 1940’s or early 50’s, maybe Lisa’s Mom, very representative of that time. Childish toys are finally at the end of their life, ready to go into the attic and the pictures of the parents are fading into the background as is the religious symbol indicating she is ready to weigh anchor and step into a new phase of her life, young adulthood, where she will need to make her own decisions. The perfect braid represents one of the things that tethered her to this part of her life but now she will need to cut it off and step into her own imperfect future. It is a metaphor of what we all do at various stages of our lives.

  10. Carolyn Davis says:

    What does “awaiting moderation” mean?

  11. lbtowers says:

    Thanks for your “entry” Carolyn. “Awaiting moderation” means that Bill or myself has to approve the comment before it gets posted. This is why you will not see it immediately when you post it. This is so we can weed out in potty mouths out there. Like Bill.

  12. Lisa Zycher says:

    If this were a family photograph, I’d say the little girl’s mother just wanted to get a picture of her daughter’s pretty hair. Symbolically, however, as a drawing it could be saying many different things. The previous comments are very interesting, but to be different, I’ll say the drawing represents the contrast of youth and old ago–youth being the child and old age being the shadow, which looks like an old person with a cane. You could also say that the two pictures on the wall represent middle age. (And at this point, you’re all probably thinking, “What a crock!)

  13. wrjones says:

    Geez, what a bunch of wiffle dust blowers. I’d like to sit around and knit with this bunch, very entertaining.

  14. Barbara Handler says:

    I interpret this thoughtful art work as a statement about this sweet girl’s need and disire to move on from childhood. The operating theme seems to be perfection (evidenced by the spacing of subject matter, every hair in place, starched little dress, and tightly weaved braid), as well as mother, father and religion held over her. The doll has been sufficiently utilized and the doll house
    (perhaps her home) feels empty. The small shadow is the girl in the past. The girl might feel a responsibility to stay young in order to please others. The length of the braid says that moving on is overdue. She clearly wants more than a long braid, worn dolly, and empty house. The themes are universal, thought provoking and sad. Clearly, not freaky.

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