So, one of my favourite paintings is American Gothic, a painting by Grant Wood from 1930. Wood's inspiration came from a cottage designed in the Gothic Revival style with a distinctive upper window and a decision to paint the house along with "the kind of people I fancied should live in that house." The painting shows a farmer standing beside his spinster daughter. The figures were modeled by the artist's dentist and sister. The woman is dressed in a colonial print apron mimicking 19th century Americana and the couple is in the traditional roles of men and women, the man's pitchfork symbolizing hard labor, and the flowers over the woman's right shoulder suggesting domesticity.
Some believe that Wood used this painting to satirize the narrow-mindedness and repression that has been said to characterize Midwestern culture, an accusation he denied. The painting may also be read as a glorification of the moral virtue of rural America or even as an ambiguous mixture of praise and satire. It is one of the most familiar images in 20th century American art, and one of the most parodied artworks within American popular culture, which intrigued me, so I set out to found out what parodies there are.
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