Attacking Art by Joe Scott Thomas Benton's Iron Mill

Essay by schwelly65High School, 10th gradeA, November 2002

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Attacking Art by Joe Scott

Thomas Benton's Iron Mill:

Thomas Benton's famous painting Iron Mill is what I think to be a mix between abstract movements and realistic concepts. The abstract movements come from the way that the men are working. All of the men have what seems to be normal movements, all except for the African-American man, who seems to be reaching to grasp something there just out of the pictures frame. The realistic concepts come from the time periods that this was portrait from and they come from the way the men are working. The men seem to be working as hard as they can because they know that during the depression men were lined up around the corner just waiting to jump at the opportunity to get a job and support their families. This painting flows, it all seems to fit together, because of the deep and slightly muted colors.

The use of light glares and deeper tones intermixing, forms a look of sultriness or humidity. Another part of the feeling of sultriness is the way the sun, or light, glares of the men's skin, making it look like sweat. Therefore incurring the onlooker's mind to think of how hot and humid the iron mill must have been just at that moment when the picture was painted. I think that this painting is the beginning of a new interest with an old American painter named Thomas Benton.By Joe