An Artistic Eye: Food Advertisements and Obesity Seen through an Art Historical Critique of Representation

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An Artistic Eye: Food Advertisements and Obesity Seen through an Art Historical Critique of Representation

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Title: An Artistic Eye: Food Advertisements and Obesity Seen through an Art Historical Critique of Representation
Author: Balter, Emily Justine
Citation: Emily Balter, An Artistic Eye: Food Advertisements and Obesity Seen through an Art Historical Critique of Representation (April 2, 2012).
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Abstract: This paper seeks to demonstrate the powerful influence of food advertisements
in the childhood obesity epidemic and thus call into question legal action that eschews
placing responsibility on food manufacturers in favor of placing responsibility on the
individual. The discussion begins by quickly looking at the Pelman litigation and argues
that that it at its core it demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the way in
which representation works. This paper will then look at two art historical periods that
explore how representation operates and in particular its persuasive capabilities and then
use this understanding of representation to analyze current food marketing strategies. It
will use Italian Renaissance paintings to demonstrate how artists (or ad-men) can use
symbolism and artistic techniques to create works that will speak to the viewer and
powerfully communicate a particular message. Next, it will explore Pop Art and
contemporary photography’s critique of representation, to reveal and deconstruct the
ways in which advertisements not only may inform one’s point of view, but also may in
fact co-opt how one perceives of his/her world.
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:10985173
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