Last Supper And Parting Words: A Comparative Analysis

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Throughout the history of American culture there has been various amounts of artworks created as an interpretation of an artist beliefs. Two artists in particular that believes in using art as a form of expressing their beliefs are Amy Elkins and Julie Green. Both artist has similar thoughts when it came towards the cruelty of the death penalty. As a result they both decided to express their emotions on the death penalty towards their art, in works known as “Last Supper” and “Parting Words”. To begin with, the art piece “Last Supper” by Julie Green consists of paintings that are each done in what appears to be a done on ornamental plates that could be made of porcelain, similar to traditional Chinese and English plates. A couple of details…show more content…
Their last meal can reveal a lot about the person’s identity. For example, based on their last meal you can identify their culture, or if they lived in poverty or not. Both of these assumptions share common themes on identity and stereotypes. One can argue that the images on the plates can be an example of identity politics. According to Jean Robertson and Craig Mcdaniel, “Identity politics is a term used to refer to the beliefs and activities of those who target racism, sexism, and other forms of prejudice and work for social rights and economic parity.” (48). Identity politics relates“ Last Supper” because often the assumptions being made on the inmates last meal are based on cultural stereotypes. For example, if an inmate’s last meal was a pack of jolly ranchers, assumptions will be made that he either lived in poverty or was an uneducated person. However, these assumptions are not always accurate. Jean Robertson and Craig Mcdaniel also mentioned that “Identity is formed within a complex matrix of many variables, including gender, sexuality, ethnicity, class, religion, community, and nation.” (50) In other words, the last meal of an inmate might not always determine their true identity. Although, Jean Robertson and Craig Mcdaniel argue that more information on a person is required in order to determine a their true identity, one can depict enough information…show more content…
All of the images are from inmates in the state from Texas that were executed since the ban on capital punishment overturned in Texas . Clearly the mugshot pictures were taken when they were arrested and the words written across the image are the last words they said before they were killed. I believe that Amy Elkins’ message from her works is to convince society that the death penalty is a terrible form of discipline in America and that the ban of capital punishment should have never been overturned. However, some assumptions that one could make about these pictures is that the phrase describes the person’s identity and how they used to perceived society. According to Jean Robertson and Craig Mcdaniel, “In the art world as in the rest of the world, people have been stereotyped and discriminated against on the basis of their perceived gender on ethnic identity or class.” (47) This phrase is considered true in this case because the inmates were most likely already discriminated against because of the social class they were in before their deaths. When one sees a persons mugshot, they are very likely to assume that the person in the mugshot is a not a very kind person, due to the stereotypes most inmates posses. Although, some people think that the images are made to promote the stereotypes that inmates posses, the images are actually meant to be effective

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