The contemporary art is full of experiments and original approaches but still many artists refer to the past to convey the spirit of the past, which has almost disappeared today. In this respect, it is possible to refer to Roger Brown’s Autobiography in the Shape of Alabama, which is a symbolic, autobiographic works of art, which conveys the past of the artist and his early life. At the same time, to understand this work of art, it is possible to use the method of critical engagement with the past because this method helps to understand better what the artist actually wants to convey to the audience.
In fact, the method of critical engagement with the past implies the evaluation and analysis of the work of art in the context of the time it refers to and the time it was created. In this regard, Roger Brown’s Autobiography in the Shape of Alabama is the painting created in 1974 which refers to the past of the artist. Roger Brown attempted to give the audience insight into his early life. He depicts the door, which is the door to his past, which a viewer may open today to look back into the past of the artist. The painting mirrors the spirit of the past. In this regard, the author intentionally stresses the simplicity of his work. Moreover, the painting contains minimal technical elements to stress that the painter as well as other people used to be closer to nature in the past. However, the door is shut and the time has changed.
Thus, the artist conveys the past accurately with his symbolic painting.