The Cafe with a Million Meanings
When you look at this piece of art you don't expect to see Jesus and the KKK all in one. When you first look at this canvas you really don't see everything it has to offer. It took me around ten minutes to comprehend everything in this image. Once I found all of the pieces of the artwork I started to put all of the parts together. When you see all of the parts and start to put things together, the illustration will start to make sense the more and more you look at it.
When I first saw this painting I was completely uninterested in writing about it. I thought there was no point of the piece of art at all I thought it was just eight people eating in this cafe having a good time with two windows in the background with just normal window background with just hills and sky in the back. After I sat down and looked at it for a couple minutes with my friends, we all started picking this picture apart and it had nothing to hide after we were done with it.
So when I first saw this painting I saw Jesus right away, he was the first thing I saw. Jesus is sitting in the middle of the table with a fish on his plate in front of him and he is holding a wineglass a fork in his hands. On the left of Jesus, is a priest. The priest has his pants on his ankles with three bananas in the table in front of him, two of them are laying down on their side and one banana is standing straight up and down. As we keep shuffling down the table I think the next two people are Adam and Eve. The two people look similar to the couple and what really got me convinced was that the couple’s feet, they look like they are playing footsie under the table together and Adam is holding his cup up to Eve, representing that he is going to give her his drink for her to sip on. Then, on the way end of the table, seems to be a waitress who would be serving all of the people at the cafe. I still can't figure out if she represents someone in history or if she is just supposed to represent a normal waitress to make the painting more realistic.
Moving down to the right side of the table there are some different characters. It starts out with the Lone Ranger and his partner Tonto. The Lone Ranger is playing bingo at the cafe while Tonto sits there and looks all confused and asks “what is good here?” I think that Tonto is just confused because he is used to eating off the land and doesn't really know what to eat for his meal at a cafe. Then on the left of Tonto is Elvis. I'm not quite sure if Elvis is taking a selfie or checking to see how he looks in his portable mirror. Either way it makes sense because Elvis was always obsessed with himself and his looks. In front of Elvis is a revolver and a doughnut, I think the revolver represents his overdose which would represent him dying or essentially killing himself. I think the doughnut represents the periods in his life that he struggled with being overweight.
Now the back windows are what really interested me and it's a completely different story from the people sitting at the bar of the cafe. In the left window there is a tornado and Saturn is up in the sky with an observatory on the other side of the picture. Meanwhile the Salem Witch trials is going on and they are burning a witch alive. In between the two windows in the entrance to the cafe which says Vatican Cafe backwards so you can see it when you walk in. On the right window there is also quite a bit of stuff happening in this background. I think this window represents the point of this painting, the point of the painting is all about the United States history because there is an explosion in the back of the picture of the atomic bomb going off how they dropped two of them on Japan during the war, here is a tank on the bottom of the window which would represent just a lot of the wars the USA has been in the past years, then on the right side of the window is the cross. Right below that is the KKK which i think represents the racial fight that the United States had back in the late 1900s.
I just think this painting goes deep into the United States history because of the KKK and the salem witch trial and with the characters sitting at the table with Jesus there and Elvis and the Lone Ranger and Tonto by his side after fighting crime in the wild wild west. There is a lot to talk about in this painting but I think if I explained everything down to detail I think my paper would be around ten pages long. I think if you read this descriptive essay good and through, I think you will be able to picture the piece of art clearly in your head and possibly be able to draw it.