Baby pictures—honestly, who really is interested in them? Does anyone want to see a picture of my baby? Do I want to see a picture of anyone else’s baby? I’d say the unrequested baby picture ranks up there with the aggressive proselytizer and the guy wearing a wireless headset mic and shilling Sup-R Magic All-Purpose Cleanser at the county fair as the most likely to send me sprinting in the other direction. So let’s examine this baby picture as if it were piece of art, open for critique.
First notice the egg crate caterpillar in the upper left. Is it supposed to be hidden or meant to be seen, an ironic nod to neo-rustic “arts and crafts”? The caterpillar is facing away from the viewer, saying that while it is a part of society, it wishes to flee, but is blocked by the windows of obligation. Now turn your attention to the insouciant pose of the child, a devil-may-care placement of the arms telling us, not only that he “owns” this chair, but has already claimed our hearts. “Just try to resist,” he says with the sly smile. But dig deeper—is it sly or sinister? Notice that the striped socks are carefully selected to match the colors of the shirt, in an ironic flourish that trumpets the individual’s desperate desire to “fit in”, while pointing out the futility in keeping a sock on an infant’s ever-kicking foot. Finally we sense a touch of whimsy in the choice of shirt. On it a stylized whale says, “I’m a blast!” while shooting embroidered spray upward. But obviously this is meant as a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the slobbery nature of babies, as a counterpoised and very real geyser of drool is emanating downward from the whale onto the rest of the shirt.
Art grade: B+. Could be in better focus but is so full of ennui and irony that it saves itself from a C grade.