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Mr Brainwash's wall painting

On the walls of his LA studio, on South La Brea Avenue and Dockweiler Street
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General description

1) What is the general subject of this artwork?

2) Who are the people you can see? Why are they together?

3) When was this artwork created? Explain how Obama's victory is related to the two other people in this artwork.


4) Who does the pronoun your refer to in the white text?

5) Who does the pronoun we refer to in the black text?

6) What play on words can you find in the black text on the side of the block?

7) What effect is produced by the repetition and accumulation of verbs?

Structure and colours

8) How can you relate the block's background colour to Black American history?

9) Find elements in the picture showing that Obama's victory is seen as a dream come true.

10) How do forms, layout, text and numbers contribute to focusing on Martin Luther King? How many instances of the number 3 can you spot in the artwork? What can this number symbolise? What message is conveyed through this symbolism?

Context and location

11) What does the choice of the support add to this artwork? How different the perception of the artwork would have been on a traditional canvas?

12) What does the construction cone add to the meaning of the mural?

The photographer's point of view

13) The vanishing point of the main wall is out of frame and far away. What could it symbolise regarding racial equality and future prospects after Obama's victory?

14) Knowing that vertical lines suggest tension and elevation, comment upon their use in the picture and their relevance to the theme of civil rights and Obama's victory.
Mr Brainwash
Thierry Guetta, better known as Mr Brainwash, is a street artist living in Los Angeles.

Further readings
- Rêve américain, Rêve d'Amérique
Un ensemble d'articles universitaires sur le Rêve Américain et ses différentes manifestations.

- Le couple Obama incarnation de l'American Dream?
Un article de Pierre-Marie Loizeau

- Le rêve américain dans la rhétorique présidentielle américaine moderne (1937-2010)
Un article d'Aurélie Godet

- Race Relations and the Presidency of Barack Obama
Lire et écouter l'intégralité du discours de Randall Kennedy

- Interview de Randall Kennedy
Un entretien sur les conséquences de la victoire d'Obama et sur la notion de discrimination positive.

- Barack Obama's State of the Union Address - 2010

- Barack Obama's State of the Union Address - 2011

- The Second Inauguration of Barack Obama
Mise à jour le 26 avril 2017
Créé le 4 février 2011
ISSN 2107-7029
DGESCO Clé des Langues