America has been determined by conflicts between the dark and the light; stark contrasts shape American history, whether it's the whites vs. the blacks, hope vs. despair or light vs. darkness. This gallery is about that.
This piece shows the conflict of war, often with one side seen as the good and the other as the evil. The good is seen striding a white horse, and the bad are on darker horses, but this painting makes the faces of all so dark as to be indistinguishable, thus showing that although one cause may be deemed good, they are all just faces of the war, and most of the time the perspective of right or wrong depends on the side.
The discover of something new may be bright and exciting, but it may involve working through brambles and thorns and darkness. The little boy represents the youth and innocence of young America, and the bird represents new discoveries like the Native Americans, which may be caught, but injured in the quest to discover.
The flood of religion comes like a bathing light. This painting demonstrates the Christian religion crossing generations. In this painting, the older woman, the grandmother figure, is in a praying motion, with her dark face made darker by the back-light. The child, who has grown a generation or two in the church, has lighter skin, as if showing that the church is bringing civilization to the "dark" people.
This landscape shows the conflict between nature and God, with a darker wilderness section and light bursting from heaven. Yet, this painting shows that, although natural differences may make natural conflict, all of the differences can combine to create something wholly unified, and beautiful.
Unlike the last painting, this painting shows that strong conflict between light and dark can lead to chaos. In this case, the "civilized" light people (here surrounded by light) are assaulted, apparently for no reason by darker people on the darker vignettes of the painting. If we are not careful, the darker things we do not understand may lead to our destruction.
The gray haze of this painting makes the light and the dark blend into a more monochromatic tone. The sun may be rising, or it may be setting, but it all melts together, showing that sometimes the dark and the light is not so black and white as we may suppose.
Finally, the white ballerinas of this painting show lines of creative art, while the dark of the crowd becomes one with the pit orchestra, thus becoming a merging of the arts, all within dark and light.
This time, nature is the innocent, evidenced by the bright white of the snow, but this breaks down color barriers by making the people dark, but making their actions innocent. Therefore, whether dark or light, their is innocence and purity.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.