Art is a form of expression that last for generations, possibly for an eternity. Throughout history, art has brought windows to lives in other regions, other countries, and even other continents. But, art is also able to do another thing: Show people another perspective. Some of the most famous examples of this would be from eras such as the Great Depression. The photo Migrant Mother, captured the struggles of immigrants, as well as low income Americans during America’s darkest hours. A recent example of this would be De’VIA. This is partially because, only recently has the global culture accepted ASL as a language, and not long before that have they started to accepted deaf people into their culture. The category of art, De’VIA, expresses the perspective of a deaf person in this world. This recent new kind of art has opened the world’s eyes to how deaf people see and interact in a world of hearing people.
The artwork at Kansas School for the Deaf is a perfect example of De’VIA. Now the reason why the child, hands, and shark stand out is because of the black background. The black background was created on purpose to emphasize the 3 objects. This stands out especially because of the light colors used against the black. The brighter colors are used to represent youth.
As you can see the child does not have his hands drawn, but rather instead of an open mouth his hands are taking their spot. It’s to represent the fact that deaf people are just as capable as hearing people. Because for hearing people, our mouth will speak our thoughts and ideas. For the deaf, they use their hands to convey thoughts and ideas. In the boy’s eyes you can also see emotion. It’s to show that even though, they are unable to express emotions in the sense we can with tone of voice, they can express their emotion through actions. Then of course the shark represents the child’s sign, “open jaw.” But, there’s a deeper meaning because it shows that even though they’re deaf, they are still a normal child. They still are capable of imagining, playing, etc like hearing children.
In conclusion this piece of artwork is used both to represent deaf culture as well as show that there is no difference between a hearing child and a deaf child other that method of communication. The artwork shows that emotion and ideas/thoughts can be expressed just like a hearing person can, but without using their voice as a method of communication. And finally it also shows the viewer that being deaf does not handicap’s someone’s ability to imagine/think.
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