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Popular Culture Artifact - Essay Example

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Popular Culture Artifact

The featured artifact is drawing of the iconic Former South African President and Statesman Nelson Mandela.
The icon chosen for the portrait is the diamond. Diamonds have been salient features in contemporary popular culture. In 1938 the New York advertising agency of N.W. Ayers was commissioned to change public attitudes toward diamonds. The campaign was conceptualized to shift popular regard of diamonds as a scarce, expensive and very hard stones to a symbol of commitment and everlasting love. Thus in 1947 and Ayers advertising copywriter came up with the slogan "a diamond is forever". "As an N.W. Ayers memorandum put it in 1959: "Since 1939 an entirely new generation of young people has grown to marriageable age. To the new generation, a diamond ring is considered a necessity for engagement to virtually everyone."(Sut Jhally: Image-Based Culture: Advertising and Popular Culture -1990).
In the featured artifact the diamond icon represents the immortality of what the featured person has come to stand for. The Portrait pictures Nelson Mandela who committed his life to fighting for the emancipation of South Africans out of the shackles of apartheid. What makes the diamond icon more appropriate in the assembling of this artifact is the eternality of the values of peace and equality. This is what Mandela fought for. These values like a diamond are forever.

The banner text also contributes to manufacturing of meaning impact in the artifact. It denotes the that fact that coal and diamonds are formed in exactly the same variables, pressure and heat the only differentiating factor being that diamonds were subjected to more pressure and heat than coal. Again these associative meanings coalesce sound meaning in interpreting the artifact. The meaning in this aspect is drawn from the excruciating and extenuating circumstances in his struggle for human rights. The ordeal would either make him or beak him and as such the very circumstances that made some of his fellow citizens fall made a jewel out of him. The jewel as a crystal three dimensional gazing stock contributes to the whole meaning worth as it has become a popular symbol of excellence and invaluable worth.

The artifact employs the meaning dissemination channels provided thorough the conventions and inventions formula. Through the conventions the artifact taps into the significance of mundane appreciation of art, mere drawings of people, great and non-entities as well as objects. Drawings have an intricate appeal to human art appreciation. The Mona Lisa drawing by Learnado Da Vince is arguably the most popular and famous portrait. What has made the artifact famous is the fact that the immaculate masterpiece was hand drawn. The artist used his finger to originate the painting. Drawings as medium are valuable for their appeal to human senses as they express human prowess in creativity and reproduction of reality.
The featured artifact, by virtue of being a hand drawn artifact, will effectively prompt recipient appreciation by its nature demonstrative of the human artistic dexterity. This aspect will also be enhanced by the fact that the drawing pictures a prominent international icon. Nelson Mandela is more than just an international celebrity; ...Show more


Art, like any is any form of human creativity is an imaginative reproduction of reality. The understanding of popular culture enables artists to connect profoundly with audience through various modes that have become known as formulas. All works of art share certain elements which enhance the definition of the general patterns as a formula creating specific recipient expectations which the popular artist must meet to accomplish effective conveyance of intended message…
Author : qgleason
Popular Culture Artifact essay example
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