Is it a flag, or is it art? Why paint a flag? Johns said that he had a dream that he had been painting a flag. He woke up and painted one. Later he said that it was because “no one had looked at it in a long time.”
His Flag is full of stories. Under its soft, waxy, rough-smooth surface are headlines and stories clipped out of newspapers, barely visible in reproduction. In the gallery, the stories are dimly read through ghostly suspensions of white between the red bars. Their spectral presence suggests that under the surface of the flag's simple iconic presence are complicated lives, happenings and secrets. The simple banner conceals untold possibilities. For us, looking at this Flag may be a reminder of what ought to be obvious: that nations, like individuals, cannot be summed up easily.
For this project, Drawing & Painting students chose a symbol. They created a stencil for that symbol. After gluing collage elements to a canvas panel, they partially obscured the imagery with paint. Then, they stenciled the symbol over the scene. Here are a few of the finished projects.
Zoso by Levi Mathers