I like the simplicity of this provocative image by Julien Couty and I personally welcome the reductive nature of the thought. Many people will likely disagree with equating Zimmerman and the Klu Klux Klan — but I believe any angry airing out of the nuances of prejudice (for example, does it matter that Zimmerman is hispanic?) is one of the functions of a good image. I welcome your comments.
Mouse over the images for my comments
Here are the top ten runners-up in the Trayvon Martin contest. All of these images say something different and interesting — I hope you’ll enjoy looking through these as much as I did.
This is a very good idea. We received 4 different versions of it, each with different strengths. Mouse over the images in the slideshow to see my editorial notes on what works and what doesn’t.
(images are numbered for discussion, not ranked)
Thank you to everyone who took the time to submit to this week’s Trayvon Martin cover contest. Here are all of the images, including the winner and runners-up, so that you can flip through and form your own opinions. I love watching artists sift through a difficult event to find its visual symbols. For the Trayvon Martin shooting, hoodies, guns and skittles rose to the top. This is a necessary sort of reduction - in telling visual-stories, we reduce events to their essence and use those symbols as blocks with which to construct complex ideas. As always, I am interested to hear your thoughts.
This week, I’m giving you the most difficult - and most important - cover assignment I can: the Trayvon Martin shooting. A lot has been written on the subject, but a great image has yet to be created. Images have a unique power; they can convey ideas that could never be put into words. A great image forces readers to complete the loop in their minds, implicating them in its message. If you need background, this New York Times article provides a good overview of the events. Please be thoughtful in your submissions - pointlessly offensive images will not be shown on the site - but please do not be afraid to take risks and stretch the boundaries of what has already been said.
Here are some New Yorker covers that took on difficult issues:
- art spiegelman’s response to the Amadou Diallo shooting
- Barry Blitt’s Martin Luther King day cover after actor Danny Glover charged New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission with a discrimination suit.
- art spiegelman’s Valentines day cover following the Crown Heights riot
To enter each week’s contest, please send sketches on this week’s theme. Use the submissions page or email jpegs to firstname.lastname@example.org. I prefer sketches to finished work and good ideas to good drawings. The deadline is Thursday at noon (NYC time). The themes on the Blown Covers website closely mirror what I suggest to the New Yorker artists I already work with. This blog and contest are informal and not affiliated with the magazine but I’m always on the lookout for ideas. Please keep submissions confidential in case they are selected for later publication. The winning sketch (according to my own subjective whims) will be posted here on Friday.