For a long time, I always felt curious about an old painting I saw through a shopping window. It represented an old couple made up with a gentleman wearing a long denim jumpsuit and holding a countryside trident. On his right side, a woman with a serious facial gesture is wearing a long dark dress, which reminds us of these very first Pilgrims who settled in the E of the USA, later known as New England. In the background a gothic-like building fulfils the picture.
This painting attracted me mysteriously and then I found out I was ahead some of the best known paintings which came to represent the American culture, "American Gothic". In fact, it portrayed the most profound America where people made a living from agriculture. The painting’s owner is Grant Wood, who “used” his sister and dentist as real-life models to depict his imaginative couple.
These two leading figures have then been caricatured by many TV serials (The Simpsons) and films (The Rocky Horror Picture Show) or used to render famous pairs such as Obama and his wife or the stars in the unbeatable thriller The Shinning.
Strange though, while surfing on the net someday, I came across with an interesting information about a “megalithic” construction of the “American Gothic”, the name given by Wood to his piece of art. The statue was as huge as America’s motto; “the bigger, the better” and paradoxically it was named "God Bless America." It was moved to Pioneer Plaza in Chicago, close to the headquarters of the Chicago Tribune Daily. The novelty of this design was the suitcase accompanying the duet showing its metaphoric idea of mobility and temporariness.
This last point was what hurt me like hell, since somewhere I read the sculpture had been moved to another state in the U.S, maybe Iowa. The thing is that, after some research, I have lost its track and I’m unable to guess where it is placed today.
Well, I will always be comforted with a visit to the Art Institute of Chicago, where the original work by Wood is held on one of the Museum’s walls.