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Living in Harlem by Jacob Lawrence

Essay by   •  November 4, 2012  •  Essay  •  315 Words (2 Pages)  •  3,233 Views

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In Jacob Lawrence's painting "Living in Harlem" and "The Builders," he paints everything in flamboyant and bright colors. The amount of detail the faces have also show the adversity and variation for the family. Though the choice of colors is relevant, the setting and structure of the family is different from each other.

The painting "Living in Harlem" shows it's flamboyant colors. It shows that even because of the different racial culture, it has bright and loud colors to brighten up the feeling. In this painting, it shows a poor living, but it's also trying to say that through the hard living, there's an amount of happiness added to the painting. The colors lighten up the mood. The faces aren't detailed because it only shows the outline of the facial structure but doesn't show anything else.

In the painting "The Builders," it shows bright colors as well. It displays a feeling of happiness with the family walking the street. In the back, it shows that no matter what color your skin is, you can still be happy about life. It discreetly tries to portray a white man painting, but also a black man. The setting is different compared to "Living in Harlem" because in this painting, they are outside walking as a family during daytime. Unlike "The Builders," the painting for "Living in Harlem" is shown inside an apartment with the setting of night time at the dinner table.

Though these paintings are the same in color choices, they both have different meanings behind them. You may be going through a hard time, but that doesn't stop you from being happy. You may be a different color or race if you will, but that doesn't mean it changes who you are. You can still be with your family in different places, but still be happy. Day time or night time, it shouldn't change the atmosphere or mood.



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