The Photograph:

Camouflage, Danbury, CT


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Current: Danbury, CT, United States
Welcome! A few years ago, I discovered an application that artists employ in their works to bring cultural awareness to their audiences. Having discerned this semiotic theory that applies to literature, music, art, film, and the media, I have devoted the blog, "Theory of Iconic Realism" to explore this theory. The link to the publisher of my book is below. If you or your university would like a copy of this book for your library or if you would like to review it for a scholarly journal, please contact the Edwin Mellen Press at the link listed below. Looking forward to hearing from you!

To view my page on the Edwin Mellen Press website, please click below:

Thank you for visiting. I hope you will find the information insightful. ~ Jeanne Iris


22 September, 2015

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg and Iconic Realism

But above the gray land and the spasms of bleak dust, which drift endlessly over it, you perceive, after a moment, the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg. The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg are blue and gigantic—their irises are one yard high. They look out of no face, but, instead, from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a nonexistent nose. Evidently, some wild wag of an oculist set them there to fatten his practice in the borough of Queens, and then sank down himself into eternal blindness, or forgot them and moved away. But his eyes, dimmed a little by many paintless days, under sun and rain, brood on over the solemn dumping ground. F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Chapter 2

In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s, The Great Gatsby, the eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg peer across the ‘dumping ground’ of American spirit. This example of iconic realism portrays eyes as the ‘windows of the soul’ of a country steeping in corruption and superficiality. Fitzgerald places these eyes on an old billboard, gazing across a field of forgotten possessions, bringing into focus awareness of America’s consciousness to be ever vigilant of the forefathers’ intentions of ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’

13 August, 2015

The Tiny Hand of Samuel Armas

Photo from Google Images

In 1999, Michael Clancy captured on film the little hand of Samuel Armas, held here by Vanderbilt University Hospital surgeon, Dr. Joseph Bruner. The iconic element here is the hand of the human fetus, for it represents life, innocence, complete vulnerability. This is an excellent example of iconic realism in photography, for one would never think that the connection between a 21 week old human in the womb and a surgeon could physically take place in this manner. One cultural dilemma that this photograph reveals is the debate between abortion and the infant's right to life. Moreover, this photograph brings to mind the limitations and possibilities of medical science as well as the beauty in the touch of a human hand... from the womb... before birth!

30 June, 2015

Walt Whitman and Iconic Realism

Adler Planetarium Astronomy Museum, Art Institute of Chicago
When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer
by Walt Whitman
When I heard the learn'd astronomer,

When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide,
and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with
much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander'd off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.

In Walt Whitman's poem, "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer, the speaker leaves an astronomy lecture to step outside the fixed parameters of the building. Subsequently, this individual learns first hand of the beauty when viewing the same firmament of which the lecturer speaks but viewed simply with the naked eye in silence. By leaving the lecture, the speaker, with scientific information gained from the the astronomer's lecture inside, now enjoys the silent beauty with appreciated knowledge, but more importantly, with appreciation of the significance of the stars’ natural condition. 

This poem illustrates iconic realism in that the subject,  constellations in a contrived setting, brings the audience and the speaker in the poem to a recognition that education of natural phenomena includes the experience of the real connection between humanity with nature. 

I warmly thank the Art Institute of Chicago for purchasing a copy of my book, The Theory of Iconic Realism: Understanding the Arts through Cultural Context.

13 April, 2015

Brandon Balengee, Bioartist, and Iconic Realism (Click onto this title to see and hear Brandon Balengee discuss his research/art.)

Here, Brandon Ballengee, artist and scientist, collaborates with communities around the world to bring awareness of environmental change. His source is the iconic feature of ancient civilizations, the pond. Ballengee's research follows the phenomena of mutation in the amphibian populations worldwide. Then, he uses his skill as an artist to create awareness of this biological variance, focusing his audience's attention on environmental transformation.

13 March, 2015

Iconic Realism and Photograph of a Baby Swaddled in the United States Flag

Yes, according to the official rules regarding our beloved United States flag, wrapping a baby in the flag is not on the list of appropriate uses.
However, these two photographs creatively illustrate my semiotic theory of iconic realism in that we see a baby, comfortably situated in the midst of a United States flag, held by a soldier in one photo and a responsible adult in the other. The photographers represent the infancy of hope, relying on adults to show strength and determination as facilitators of this human quality.
The future generations of U. S. citizens are dependent on the adults of this great nation to make decisions that will create an environment which enables these children to contribute their talents and skills to move humanity forward.

Photographs from Bing Images