The Millennial Thinking Man

Today I’d like to share a picture that my husband drew. I call it “The Millennial Thinking Man.” I love all the details. It makes me think a million different thoughts. José thinks he is not an artist but I beg to differ! I can only draw stick figures. He was able to capture a very particular brand of sadness reflecting in the eyes of this drawn person. To me, that is quite extraordinary.

And he intuitively knows where to sketch in shadow, giving this (self portrait?) an overall somber tone.

All of the speech bubbles are the same size, and they say things that often do come screaming at us from the screens of our phones, through social media and that instant person to person communication that millennials are so adept at and so well known for.

“Be Angry!” says one.

“Buy More!” says another.

“Why Aren’t you doing more?!”

And the final blow, “Your life is not perfect.”

As if to say – you aren’t good enough. Which begs the question, good enough for what? What is this magical standard in the sky we are all striving so hard to live up to? Maybe we are all striving too hard for a big fat nothing. How do we know if we don’t even know?

As José says, “You don’t know what you don’t know.”

Words of wisdom from my husband 🙏

I love how each speech bubble is accompanied by a tiny picture, as if to mimic the images we see on Facebook that go along with these subconscious messages. It is almost eerie. I imagine the tiny images as if they are reflected in a pair of eyeglasses, or a pair of eyes.

I’m not really sure I’ve even gotten to the bottom yet of all the layers – of what this picture means. The man in this picture is holding a pose I find similar to the famous thinking man statue. And yet these thoughts go far beyond the Renaissance philosophy “I think therefore I am.” We are many, many generations beyond that.

I think it’s pretty clear that I love this thoughtful, insightful piece of art.

What does this picture make you think? Share with us in the comments and we’ll keep the conversation going…

(By the way, it might just be a coincidence, but tell me if I’m wrong. I am sure that my husband needs an uncanny resemblance to the original Thinking Man. )

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