Choose an advertisement, a painting, or a professional photograph to analyze. Decide what the advertisement exec, artist, or photographer was trying to “argue” with the image.
Paper should be 4-5 pages. Please address all of the following in the essay. Do not answer the questions in question format, rather, write up your findings as a formal essay.
- What’s the idea being put forth? What’s the political agenda or argument being expressed by the image?
- Where did you find the ad? Who is the intended audience? How is the intended audience meant to feel? Newport cigarettes have 75% African-American female customers; therefore it makes sense that they advertise in Ebony and feature African-American female models who are the center of male attention.
- What is the picture’s context? History? The picture didn’t just turn up in a vacuum. Ralph Lauren advertisements after 9/11 were literally draped in American flags. What kind of context or contemporary moment is your ad/picture a product of?
- What are the visual details of the picture? Emphasis on DETAIL. EVERY LITTLE THING—framing, color choice, background, mood, atmosphere, tone, shape, connotations, emphasis. This is your paper’s evidence. Be specific and thorough. This will take up a lot of your paper. Start with a brief orientation to the image as if your reader can’t see it.
- TEXT, font, etc. Analyze any written words (if there are any) and the kind of font used. How do the written words reinforce the picture’s argument?
- If you are writing about an ad, think about or research the company’s demographic/ target consumers. If it’s a painting, research the artist or photographer. This could be a great excuse to spend a few hours at the Getty or LACMA.
- Submit an attachment of your ad/painting to me along with your paperer insert the image into the text box with your essay.