Harlem Billiards Hall In Jacob Lawrence's Pool Parlor

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an everyday normal occurrence (going to a pool house) that most people will pass off is captured in a light that puts a new perception on the normal. I’d say that this is to me the most “artistic” piece because it seems so real, and so gritty and stripped back. It seems like someone who had professional training for painting decided to break every rule that he needed to just to make something he saw with his artistic eye the way we saw it.
The painting “Pool Parlor” by Jacob Lawrence, done in 1942 is a, 31 1/8th x 22 7/8th inch Watercolor and gouache on paper masterpiece. Jacob Lawrence painted the scene of a Harlem billiards hall. Very accurate for the time also as far as what the African American men are wearing, and the smoking in the hall.
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It is a watercolor and graphite on white wove paper; this painting is classified as a drawing even though watercolor was used to create much of the piece. The dimensions of the piece are, 15 5/16th x 20 ¾ in. (38.9 x 52.7cm). I can see that the emphasis/ focus is on the two men laying in the grass together in complete relaxation. I can also see repetition in the grass and background of this piece. The brown lines that make up part of the grass all have motion to them. The background can be a bit of a hit or miss as to what the artist intended it to actually be, but to me I see water… and it almost seems like these two men are laying together on a little island in a swamp or bog. Maybe even a lagoon. Looking at the proportion of the little island, and the men laying on it. The men seem to be lying on a very small little plot of land, and I believe that this creates a very intimate setting for the medium. The colors used in this piece are also very well thought out, there isn’t any color to show aggression or maybe fear if you want to go that far with it. All colors are easy to look at, and can be easily referenced to peaceful things such as love, innocence, curiosity, and freedom, even life ultimately. All the colors used have very light bases besides two colors, blue and purple. Purple was used for thousands of years as the color for royalty. If you look close to the shades on the skin you can see light purple for parts of the men laying down, the right man has a much darker purple shade painted as part of his head which also has a heavy amount of gold in it also. There is almost no contrast in this painting besides the subjects themselves in the painting. Particularly, the face on the right subject, he has the most detail with color and contrast out of the whole piece. Now the space of this picture is a bit of an illusion, because the way it’s painted it can change with how the viewer’s imagination perceives

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