The diagram above is of the Roof Carpenter by John Sloan shows the emphasis of labor in that time. The drawing of it emphasis’ the actual carpenter. The contrast between the line weights is what makes the carpenter stand out from the paper. The drawing of the man working is overall centered on the paper, however the carpenter is off centered on an axis to depict movement. The line weights also provide a balance throughout the whole composition of the work, between the lightweight lines to show the context and detail, the bold lines of the man, and the dark small shadow that is underneath the man. The ever-going lines of the context create this unity between the drawing the paper. The graphite also relates to the type of work that this man was doing.
Focusing on the work and commerce theme in the Greensboro Collects Art gallery exhibition at the Weatherspoon Art Museum, all of the pieces have people in their work setting describing the ambience of what their work consists of. “The dawning century was to be the era of the machine, of greater speed, and of unprecedented mobility, and the architecture of the new epoch would surely proclaim this mechanization.” (Roth pg. 519-520) Roth explains that this is a time were the machine was to take over the work area to create these structures. However, John Sloan’s Roof Carpenter contrasts everything that Roth explains, his art depicts the carpenter being the “machine” for lack of a better word, working his way to construct this roof. Another art piece that portrays man as the machine is Willie Cole’s Knapp Monarch, this sculpture of this “iron man” sitting on top of this wooden base clearly shows that even before the common definition of what machine is, the human body was and is the machine. “The ‘Hi-Tech’ movement celebrated the aesthetic of industrial production,”.(Massey pg.195) Massey also describes this industrial definition of what was current during that time, but Sloan’s artwork seems to still celebrate the old ways before that of industrial production in contrast to the sculpture which celebrates man as the machine, literally. Both art works display different views on consumerism. “Consumerism and the emerging global economy become more important.” (Harwood pg. 805) Sloan shows that in order to survive in this commerce world one must work, the facial expression on the man clearly defines hard labor. Cole gives us this iron man made out of irons that show what is available for people to purchase at their own will and become what they consume, a machine. In all I believe that the overall theme for work and commerce is the human body becoming the machine in order to work and survive this commerce world.