Western Michigan University

Courtney Deary


Courtney Deary
ART3480 Photo II
8″ x 12″, digital print
1 of 15

Statement: Always seen, yet seemingly forgotten, and all the while the working class is the back-bone of America. 
One third of the countries population is living paycheck to paycheck in order support themselves and their family. In society pride or top-notch do not come to mind when thinking about having a career in poetry, mechanics, art, or agriculture. The book by Juliet B. Schor titled “The Overworked American” takes a deeper look into the lives of the working class in America. The reason for working so much is that these people are left with fear of unemployment, overwhelming household work, longer hours, a desire for consumer goods, and no time for schooling to get a better paying job. The lemon is the fruit often associated with something being defective, imperfect, or unsatisfactory. We all know the saying “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” which is insinuating something bad, or rotten has happened.  To show reference to societies’ view on the working class using lemons within the frame of the photograph, the irony with the lemon is important. 

Western Michigan University

8 thoughts on “Courtney Deary”

  1. Maybe the problem is just that I’m only seeing 1 of 15, but I would have never thought anything about the struggle of the working class or prejudice against it from looking at this print. I think you either need to come up with more loaded symbols, something more readable, or you need to scale back your ambitions. Right now, you have a beautiful image and a wonderful color pallet, but your statement seems like such an unrelated diatribe I almost dismiss the whole thing.

  2. The antiqued, yellowish light in this photograph gives it an eerie, distant feeling like this chair is holding memories of someone’s past. After reading your statement, I get the feeling that this chair belonged to an overworked, sruggling middle class father who would come home from a long day of work to relax, but i’m not too sure how the lemon ties in.

  3. “you need to scale back your ambitions.”
    this has to be the worst advice to give any person, especially a student/artist.
    courtney, your statement is very well written. this is an important skill for an artist to have in order to communicate and speak about their work. i am glad you are thoroughly researching your ideas and philosophy before the art-making happens. nicely done.

  4. I think this image is beautifully lit and the warm tones together work very well. It’s not always easy to make a color image look like a fine art photograph but you’ve done a great job. It’s also good to see a student have such a definate concept behind their work.

  5. After reading your statement, I think the lemon was a great touch. Many people that are living paycheck to paycheck have many struggles in their lives but they are forced to make the best of the situation. The sad part is many of the working class are comfortable with where they are in life, and for those that are not our society is structured in a way that it is almost impossible for them to better their life. Your image is very simple, yet the meaning is very complex. I would love to see more work from this series.

  6. The ideas inspiring this photograph are very interesting and I would like to see more from a series about it! I think this is a nice photo, but it could be made stronger if the lemon was in focus. It is distractingly blurry, and I think stronger colors and contrast would also lend to the ominous ideas you are working with.

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