The Heart of Chicago

UnknownArtist can express their inspiring thoughts and creativity onto white canvases with bright colors and peculiar shapes. The Modernism movement allowed for artists, like Archibald Motley, to portray cultural trends and changes as our society began to transform. In his eye opening work of art, Black Belt, Motley expresses his ideas in a non linear fashion and portrays a sense of alienation. Growing up in Chicago, Motley is inspired and illuminates the African American experiences and culture that he witnesses from his childhood during the early 1900s. During this time period, most artist did not create paintings that displayed the African American culture. However, Motley could express himself through these types of paintings and was not afraid to shed light on the good and bad parts of the African American experiences. Also, he uses abstract techniques to bring the characters to life and bright colors to display the nightlife on the streets of Chicago. In these ways, Motley is able to successfully present his ideas in a nonlinear fashion. Along with this, the painting portrays a sense of alienation. To create a bigger picture, African America’s are segregated and isolated in society during this time period, yet they continue to immerse in their own rich culture. Also, everyone seems to be happy and having a good time, except the man in the middle who is bent over and seems to be troubled. In a way he seems to be isolated, as he doesn’t seem to be having a good time and no one acknowledges him. Black Belt captures the heart of African Americans in Chicago and illuminates two key elements of Modernism.


This entry was posted in 2018 Spring Modernism, English III Honors. Bookmark the permalink.

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