This photograph at Buerge Chapel in Pacific Palisades is my homage to the Grant Wood painting titled American Gothic (view this painting). The models for the painting were Wood’s sister and his dentist, Dr. Byron McKeeby. The painting is said to depict a farmer and his daughter and it became very popular being published in Chicago Evening Post and then in New York, Boston, Kansas City, and Indianapolis. Art critics viewed the painting in one of several different ways. Some felt that it was a “satire of rural small-town life” while others felt it was an “old-fashioned mourning portrait” because of the daughter’s black dress and the closed curtains on the house. Later, during the Great Depression, the painting became better known as a depiction of the American pioneer spirit. This painting was first prominently parodied by Gordon Parks in 1942 and I parody it at many of my weddings. That being said, this was the first time I parodied it with a father and daughter. In most cases, I simply photograph the bride and groom in a similar pose. After writing this description, I think that I’m going to work on a closer, more recognizable parody at future events in an attempt to elevate my images just a bit more when offering this homage to Wood. Buerge Chapel is located in California. Pacific Palisades, California. Phone: (310) 454-6699. Website: http://www.buergechapel.org.
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