Pele Delappe

Pele Delappe

During Roosevelt's presidency, he created a set of New Deal Policies including the National Industrial Act, which allowed labor workers to act against intolerable working conditions. This became the beginning of chaos.

On May 9, 1934, the Longshoremen's Strike broke out due to the long working hours with no extra pay, unfair distribution of work hours, and dangerous working conditions. Artist James Grosso captured the idea of this event using his painting skills.

James Grosso's "Shape Up" oil painting perfectly portrays the technique bosses used in choosing their men for the job. It was based on favoritism which was very unfair. In the painting, I can see the boss pushing people aside with no respect at all. I can see the different expressions on the people's faces. The man in red seems very mad, while others in the back seem anticipated or impatient. The most important thing is that I see how the boss picks like the only white guy in the group and pushes everybody else away. This portrays the favoritism that took place and maybe the racism that still existed too. I feel like James Grosso was also trying to show all these ideas in the painting because of how the colors are very gloomy and not so bright. This definitely confirms my initial understanding of labor, class relations, and life in the 1930's of America.

Grosso's "Union Meeting 1" is another dim colored oil painting which shows a meeting of fed up and frustrated union workers looking to the front of room which we assume that is where the union officers are. One man is so mad that he is standing out of his chair with his fist up towards the front of the room. I can almost feel the tension that was in that room decades ago. I think the artist is suggesting the idea of just how intolerable the working hours and conditions were that it had to result in this.

I guess the working conditions were really that bad that it had to result in violence and protests, but on the other hand, I doubt these...

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