Discouraged Workers by Ben Norris

Table of Content

This painting called “Discouraged Workers”, made by Ben Norris in 1936 and was captured the activity of unemployed people near the Los Angeles Gas Work. Based on the information and observations, this art is a fine artwork but it is a contemporary def, to show a art have content used as a metaphor to explain a changing culture. Besides, by recording what he saw, the artist successfully show the style of this art is realism. In this art, the author using a two-dimensional work by using oil on canvas and drawing by some kind of another medium.

Not only that, the artist used others visual elements: line, shape, and most of it was dark and light color. For examples, in the art, Ben used the lines to draw the chimneys of a factory. Then triangle shape for the roofs. Especially, he also used some of principles art for the painting to make those elements work well together and one of them is Space – Aerial. This Aerial perspective basically is a method to create the illusion of depth in a painting by using the dark colors for the closest park to us and light color for the farthest part in the paintings. So in the art, he used aerial concept, by using black color for the workers and light colors for all the factories. This made the story of the art is more clearly.

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Whenever see this, the viewers will think that the life of people outside the factory is so bad like it color and life in the factory are way better. On the other hands, Ben also used the geometric organization principles for the factories: This factory in front of another factory; and this made the art so balance. However, the main point that made the viewer notice this art is the story behind and it meaning. First, when drawing this, Ben wanted to encourage all artists to focus on their regions and create works with a theme that reflected everyday life around them. Last things, that he wanted to show the world the life of people who don’t have jobs during the Great Depression look liked. They always gathered in front of the factories in Los Angeles in hopes that the factory will hire them on someday.

In general, this is a beautiful painting. Before reading the information about it, and only look at the drawing, the way the artist using color, Ben successfully drew a beautiful picture that made everything in the picture very balanced. But it is a bit dark and makes people look a little confused. For example, the middle of the painting has a man with a sad face, wearing black clothes, and behind it is the factories with red colors that works all the time. When you look here, people will think that this man has just been fired, not like he is trying looking for a job. On the other hand, after reading the information about the picture, it makes the viewer easier to understand and somehow they feel what that man is thinking. Basically, this is a really meaningful painting.

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Discouraged Workers by Ben Norris. (2022, May 16). Retrieved from


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