Tuesday, July 04, 2017
Today is the celebration of Independence Day, commemorating the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. The vote was actually on July 2 which prompted John Adams to (wrongly) predict that day would be celebrated in the future. In any event, we celebrate every year with fireworks, barbecues, patriotic flag displays and parades. And every July 4 Jame Montgomery Flagg's famous "I Want You" image of Uncle Sam shows up almost everywhere. Originally intended as a way to recruit for World War I, Sam looks deeply angry and determined. It was used in the second world war as well, when the United States again felt aggrieved and angry. According to at least some sources Sam is actually a self portrait of the artist himself.
Happy Fourth of July.
Sparked by Flagg's Sam, I did my own digital version a few days ago, using my Wacom tablet. I based my Sam on his but cropped closer and detailed in the central face more. I wanted my Sam to look angry, concerned, and confused. I tried to make him look older than the Flagg Sam, and perhaps more battered and worn, consonant with the times.