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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Gallery Twenty Eight: Using symbols and metaphors to express meaning > Star spangled stock exchange, New York City, New York, 2010
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Star spangled stock exchange, New York City, New York, 2010

Star spangled stock exchange, New York City, New York, 2010

The façade of the New York Stock Exchange is actually a vast display of symbols and metaphors. I move in to fill the lower half of the image with the huge flag and allow the name of the exchange, its classical Greek architecture, and the sculpted figures laboring on the pediment that surmounts the vast portico of columns to fill the upper half of the frame. A stock exchange is a non-governmental organization, yet here it literally wraps itself in the flag to display its patriotism. The Greek columns and pediment symbolize timeless virtues, designed to inspire trust, no doubt, in financial instruments. Finally, the five figures at work suggest the timeless value of labor itself. Working together, these symbols suggest that investing in businesses as a patriotic act, an act that draws on historic traditions for its reliability and value. In light of the recent financial disasters on Wall Street, however, the warning “Caveat Emptor” should be added to the mix here.

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Phil Douglis26-Aug-2010 17:59
Thanks, Vera -- that is what symbols and metaphors are supposed to do. They convey meanings that stimulate the emotions, the intellect and the imagination. They are intended to lead to thought, inspiration, and even actions. They are actually a form of visual shorthand -- a quick way to trigger instinctive feelings and responses. Such is the nature of the symbols in this image.
veraferia26-Aug-2010 09:34
So many symbols and artistic details. Meaningful image!
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