Tria Andrews, a graduate student at SDSU writes in with an extensive posting and semiotic safari for our galleryblog readers:
From: "Tria Andrews"
Today I went antique shopping in OB. I happened to have my digital camera so I took these photographs. Although I think these pictures speak for themselves--or more precisely speak for the puppeteers who created them--I did want to note that the pinup of the Mexican woman was in startling contrast to the other pinups available for sale. Most other pinups were depicted in primary or warm colors--not a deep, sinister purple--and as the center (if not sole focus) of the photograph. Notice in this pinup, the woman is an afterthought. The maracas and sombrero are prominently displayed, suggesting the fetish as more cultural than sexual.
Of course, there is the simple portrayal of the Mexican girl and boy or woman and man--which if woman and man is the case, is all the more frightening for this racist and childlike depiction. There is also the serving tray (telling in itself) with the depiction of the Mexican man selling flowers, though his Bogarted cigarette and sidelong glance suggest he is plotting something more--here, we the have Mexican as criminal.
Additionally, there is the display of the minstrel dolls--among them salt and pepper shakers--as well as the subservient 'Dancin‚ Minstrel' whose pointed ears conjure none other then Satan.
Please also note the Native American pinups--as if pinups weren't problematic in themselves--and how they are positioned. Of course one Indian has nothing more to worry about then her fellow Indian. She should have her bow and arrow positioned toward the artist and not her fellow comrade, but as you can see, this is not the case.
Anyway, I had a good time. Didn't buy anything, but was certainly entertained--though maybe not in the way the puppeteers intended I be...