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The shows I’m the One I Want and Dr. Ken have some similar attributes based on the way that they have been presented. To begin with, the main characters in both shows are of Asian origin. This is not something that is very common with American TV shows as the Asian casts tend to play inferior roles. Such roles are usually occupied by White and Black Americans. This is an indication of how these shows have defied the norm, and this works in paving the way for other TV shows of such nature.
Another element at play in both TV shows is that of narrating one’s life through the use of comedy. Margaret Cho takes the initiative of narrating her life’s struggles. She talks about the struggles she had with the network executives and producers of All-American Girl. They viewed her as being too fat, and they wanted her to shed some weight. This aspect jeopardized her health, and the misery drove her to addiction. Dr. Ken also explores his life struggles through the use of comedy. His narrations make it clear that he is working at a poorly ran Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). Dr. Ken encounters varied family struggles too from his wife who is a therapist, a popular and self-centered daughter, and a son that is brilliant but socially clueless.
Both TV shows also portray the element of challenging compulsory heterosexuality. This is where heterosexuality is viewed as the natural obligation or inclination, and everybody in the society is expected to adopt it regardless of their personal sexual references. This is a norm that is strictly observed in many societal settings. In I’m the One I Want, Margret Cho has gone against this norm by supporting the gay community. She regards herself as being a “fag hag”. She goes ahead and reiterates that “if it weren’t for gay men, I wouldn’t talk to men……straight men are scary”. Gay men make her feel more comfortable. In Dr. Ken, the aspect of challenging compulsory heterosexuality is viewed in the way Clark Leslie is portrayed as gay. He is openly gay and tops it up with being a drama queen who overreacts to many situations.  Despite this aspect, other people like him and they co-exist quite well.
There seems to be a pattern in Asian American TV shows. This is more on the storylines and the characters involved. Among the most common patterns are struggles with life and cultural issues. These aspects were evident in both I’m the One I Want and Dr. Ken. Margret Cho was struggling with her TV and personal lives due to the interconnection established. Dr. Ken, on the other hand, is portrayed as struggling with his family on varied issues. Fresh off the Boat is also another TV show that illuminates this issue. The TV show revolves around Eddie Huang’s Taiwanese family that comes to settle in Orlando, Florida. Huang’s mother struggles with culture clash since Florida does not exhibit a large Asian population. Eddie on his part also struggles with assimilation in school. Margaret Cho also struggled with cultural and family issues in the series All-American Girl that was being aired in the 1990s. She was always at odds with her mother who wanted her to get married to a Korean husband.
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Exploring an Impressive Artwork: Giovanni’s “Branchini Madonna” best essay helpVisiting the Norton Simon Museum was a wonderful experience. The artworks on display are impressive and captivating. The museum includes a collection of European and Asian paintings, tapestries, sculptures and woodblock prints among others. Norton Simon Museum commenced with the Pasadena Art Institute that was founded in 1922 as a nonprofit institution (Abdo 26). The Museum’s name changed to Norton Simon in 1975. Most of the artworks involved with the museum are elaborate, detailed and well preserved. On this particular day, the collection from the 14th to 16th century attracted more people compared to the others. “Branchini Madonna” by Giovanni di Paolo appears simple, but it is sophisticated in its own way. “Branchini Madonna” helps viewers to understand the information that Di Paolo intended to demonstrate with this image. In “Branchini Madonna”, Di Paolo uses symbols such as doll-like figures, flowers, gold leaf layers, sitting position, crown and halos to showcase varied aspects about the Virgin Mary and Jesus.
Giovanni di Paolo was an Italian born in 1403 in Siena and died in 1482. Di Paolo developed an interest in religious paintings that maintained the conservative and the mystical intensity style of the Gothic decorative paintings. Giovanni’s first work was documented in 1417 when he was working in the Sienese Dominican Order while working as a miniaturist (Stanco 63). Giovanni’s inspiration comes from Gothic art emanating in both Italy and France. Probably, Giovanni was Taddeo di Bartolo’s pupil since his early works reflected the style used by Taddeo. Giovanni produced his most important works during the 1440s and 1450s. The arts included “The Life of St. John the Baptist” and “Presentation of Christ in the Temple” among others (Stanco 64). Giovanni never left his native Siena at any point, and his work showcases tenacious disdain of Tuscany’s progressive painters. “Giovanni’s style changed over the years, but his imagery was constant all through as his works contained highly individual imaginative quality” (Stourton 71).
Giovanni di Paolo was around 24 years when he painted “Brachini Madonna” (Muchnic 104). “The painting entails confection of doll-like, big figures that are framed inside a furious flutter of seraphim wings” (Abdo 112). The painting is dated 1427 and the medium used is tempera and gold leaf on a panel with the dimensions of 72 * 39 inches. “Brachini Madonna” is among the treasured paintings in Norton Simon Museum. The Virgin Mary is shown holding Jesus, who in return reaches out to his mother slightly touching her diaphanous veil. Flowers have also been engrained in the painting. The flowers work well in showing the natural details of the painting (Norman 41). There has been an inclusion of carnations, roses, cornflowers and marigolds. The painting is a rare fine state of preservation. A panel of such a scale to have survived while it is completely intact is rare.
The artwork has numerous layers that are made of gold leaf. Areas such as the crown and halos have been built in low relief using thick paste mixed with glue. Using the Tempera in Europe was common during the period when “Brachini Madonna” was painted since the use of canvas had not been adopted yet. The painting has been inscribed at the bottom using Latin that reads “Giovanni of Siena son of Paolo painted this in 1427” (Muchnic 105).
“Brachini Madonna” works as a religious representation. The baby and the woman wearing a halo are Jesus and the Virgin Mary. The painting has brought out Mary as being regal, humble and maternal (Stourton 73). The humble prospect has been illuminated by the sitting position that she assumes. Such a position shows aspects of humility since it is a position that most people with power or affluence would not assume. To some point, it might be viewed as demeaning to people of such stature. The halo above her head works in showing that she represents holiness. Regal prospect, on the other hand, is demonstrated by the structures that surround the Virgin Mary. The cloak and Halo make the impression of her being the queen of heaven (Rubin 261). Maternal attributes, on the other hand, are demonstrated by the way that she holds Jesus. The Virgin Mary provides Jesus with an ample sitting allowance on her lap. She caps the baby’s foot in a gentle way showcasing aspects of a loving mother.
In “Branchini Madonna,” Giovanni di Paolo had the objective of showcasing humanistic aspects in both Jesus and the Virgin Mary, as well as their descend from heaven into earth. The earthly and heavenly aspects are woven together using myriad devices through the vigilant, botanical accounting of plant life, the otherworldly flash of gold, the rosy human flesh combined with ethereal bodies delivered in two colorful, flat, elaborately patterned dimensions(Stourton 74).
Carnations, roses, cornflowers and marigolds have also been included in the painting to symbolize the Trinity and the Holy Family. The rose flower represents the Virgin Mary as the queen of heaven, and it is among the most beautiful flowers around. Despite the beautiful nature of the flower, it also carries a hidden emblem of suffering with the presence of the thorns.  For Mary, these thorns act as a reminder of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion as He wore a crown of thorns and gave up his life to save humanity (Rubin 273). The carnations also symbolize love while the marigolds are an honor for Mary’s simplicity.
During the period when the “Branchini Madonna” was painted, the pandemic scourge memories of the Black Death were not so far removed from people’s minds. The pandemic had wiped out almost half of Europe and two-thirds of Siena. The plague had also unleashed varied waves of social instability and political strife. A visionary apparition like the Giovanni’s artwork was a favorable way to celebrate and sanctify the power of a triumphant, ecstatic and durable religious belief (Norman 43).
In conclusion, among the artworks in Norton Simon Museum, “Branchini Madonna” is among the ones that stood out. Giovanni di Paolo has used symbolism while trying to give meaning to this piece of work. The paper has tried to describe and analyze these aspects of the painting. “Branchini Madonna” is dated 1427 and the medium used is tempera and gold leaf on a panel with the dimensions of 72 * 39 inches. Through the use of varied symbols, the painting has tried to portray Mary as being regal, humble and maternal at the same time. The earthly and heavenly aspects have also been woven together based on the way Giovanni brought out the artwork. Use of flowers to signify varied characters has also gained prominence in the painting. Simply put, “Branchini Madonna” has used varied symbols, and there is need to analyze them in order to understand the message Giovanni di Paolo intended to pass with this artwork.
Works Cited
Abdo, Sara Campbell. Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon And His Hunt For The Best. 1st ed., New Haven, Conn., Yale University Press, 2010,.
Muchnic, Suzanne. Odd Man In: Norton Simon And The Pursuit Of Culture. 1st ed. Berkeley [etc.]: University of California Press, 1998. Print.
Norman, D. “Painting In Late Medieval And Renaissance Siena (1260-1555)”. Choice Reviews Online 41.08 (2004): 41-44. Web.
Rubin, Patricia. “‘The Outcry’: Despoilers, Donors, And The National Gallery In London, 1909”. Journal of the History of Collections 25.2 (2012): 253-275. Web.
Stanco, Filippo. Digital Imaging For Cultural Heritage Preservation: Analysis, Restoration, And Reconstruction Of Ancient Artworks. 1st ed., Boca Raton, CRC Press, 2012,.
Stourton, James. Great Collectors Of Our Time: Art Collecting Since 1945. 1st ed. London: Scala, 2007. Print.
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