Marie-jo Selection

Here we have an interesting example from the East Side Gallery, Titled "Diagonal Solution of the Problem". The East Side Gallery being the Berlin wall, which after it was disengaged was painted by various artists to represent the problems Germany and the world had just overcome and the values and ideals that were coherent with the timely movements. What we can see is a hand giving the sign "thumbs up" as we are used to in everyday life. The thumb is held in position by a chain, that creates a diagonal between the tip of the thumb and the wrist. This reflects the force with which people were expected to agree with the government and higher ups. Rather than giving a thumb up in agreement, the civilians were forced to give consent to their government actions, unable to voice concerns or even disagree. "The Diagonal Solution" is the chain, holding up the thumb. Instead of creating a better environment and solving the issues, the diagonal solution solves the symptom of complaint. If no one is complaining, there is nothing to complain about.
This is another example from the East Side Gallery called "Tolerance". In the image we can see a form of visual narration of two parts, almost in sequence. The first half of the image is painted in the background in a dark blue, the busts of two people facing away from each other. Noteworthy here, in the context of the time, is that the two people portrayed are white and black. They express a negative, angry emotion. In the second half the background has a lighter shade of blue and the people have changed position to face each other. Now they are smiling. In a way it is a mirror image of the first half, the only thing that actually changed was the mouths and the direction in which the people portrayed were facing, while the eyebrows etc stayed unchanged. The message is quite obvious, preaching a peaceful and accepting ideology instead of a hateful one. Especially in this time this was relevant, since racism was very prevalent all over the globe. During this time focus of racism and solving racist issues was still focused mostly on black and white relations. The change in background color supports the message further, giving the first half a darker sense and a more hateful mood, while the lighter side almost seems like a sunny sky.
This art work can be found on the streets of London and is titled "Sweet Toof". It seems to be made from a rotting metal can and is painted as a row of teeth and gums. A large part of the bottom has broken away, leaving a wide gap on the lower row of teeth. Overall the can is breaking apart, giving the impression of broken teeth. This is a reflection of the greedy behavior that is breaking society and humanity as a whole. Having a "Sweet Tooth" meaning that one prefers to eat sweets, in combination with the imagery of the broken row of teeth on a product of industrialization and mass production reflects how our own behavior is ruining ourselves. Just like eating too many sweets ruined the teeth, our own overconsumption will destroy us.
This image, by one of the most world renown street artists "Banksy", is entitled "Mural". It depicts a maid with her cleaning tools, seemingly lifting the white of the wall to put the dirt under. She suggestively looks at the viewer, pointing "under" the layer of paint. It reflects upon the saying "To brush something under the carpet" meaning to swiftly hiding or dismissing a problem, as one would brush dirt under the carpet to not have to deal with realistically getting rid of it. In this case the maid lifts the white color off a brick wall. The white of the wall seems to be symbolizing the polish that politicians, the media and we ourselves use to portray reality in our minds, so that we do not have to face the issues and problems of the world, the "ugly" raw brick wall. The maid, a member of a lower social class, is smiling and offering the viewer a loop hole to hide their own dirty problems under, to seem like a perfect, white wall. The maid in herself is standing on the polished side of the wall. She is the romanticized version of how we like to view lower classes, historically in this case. She is our maid, we become royalty of some sort. She is happy to help us blind ourselves against the issues of the lower class.
This image, found in Buenos Aires, is entitled "Grito" which means as much as scream. It shows a cartoonish pig in a suit, holding a glass of wine. He is an image of sophistication, playing on the stereotypical man of riches, in expensive clothing, drinking expensive alcohol, gaining weight of expensive foods. A sophisticated man, pigging out on the cornucopia that is life to him. "scream" that is, at the unfairness that is taking place, that this menial pic may enjoy the riches of life, grow fat from them, while so many cannot reach close to such a large glass of wine.
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