The Voice

USC believes that one learns best when interacting with people of different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. Tell us about a time you were exposed to a new idea or when your beliefs were challenged by another point of view.


Artistically, I'm a bad postmodernist: I've never been able to look at a painting of a potato and discern the meaning of life hidden within its brushstrokes. Somehow, though, I found myself inside the world-renowned Museum of Modern Art, surrounded by a mass of self-proclaimed, blazer-clad connoisseurs conversing about the deeper meaning of Barnett Newman’s The Voice. As I stood there with Newman's giant white canvas, staring me in the face while the never ending stream of the artists' unfamiliar jargon clouded my thoughts, I began to wonder if I was missing something. What were these people seeing that I wasn't? How were they getting "critical examination of society’s effort to silence its inhabitants" out of this seemingly empty work of “art” when all that I was capable of producing was “maybe he named it The Voice to be ironic.”

Suddenly, I was back in my fourth grade art class with Ms. McClaire watching me as I carefully applied the finishing touches to my painting of a french horn. "Why is it purple?" she asked. I replied without hesitation, “Because it’s my favorite color.” That's when she said something I had forgotten until that moment, "Some people don't always know why artists do things, but as long as you understand...

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