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Son's Drawing (1982)

Son's Drawing (1982) is a prime example of the late 20th century naïve art movement. It was made by the inspector's son, an Arstotzkan child who aspires to the ideology and aesthetic of primitivism rather than the socialist realism that characterizes most art produced in the region.

The work itself depicts a shielded eagle, similar to the one seen on Arstotzkan emblem, watching the back of a brave warrior identified as papa (the Sanskrit word for sin) who is engaged in an intense firefight. The clever double meaning demonstrates the artist's grasp of the double-edged nature of Arstotzkan "Heroism." Some critics have pointed out that the color and the stance of the eagle are references to the artist and his family's inevitable flight from Arstotzka to Obristan, a feat that deeply traumatized the artist before the actual escape.

Son's Drawing is characterized by strong use of pattern and unrefined color, characteristics which pay no respect to formal qualities of what is usually expected from "a painting." It abandons the rules of the perspective as defined by the painters of the Renaissance and replaces them with pure and authentic child-like creative impulses. This is an emotional drive of creativity and primitivism displayed in a peculiar manner.

Similar to intricate stage instructions in the works of Bertolt Brecht, Son's Drawing has a phrase "hanG on Wall," which, while allows further viewing of such a piece, is intended to estrange the audience and emotionally detach them from the action and the papa. By using this kind of alienation effect (Verfremdungseffekt in German), the audience is led to analyze and maybe even challenged to change the world outside the painting. This was the goal and driving force behind the inspector's son's entire creative career, a person desperate for ideas, creativity, and professionalism.


If the son is still alive, the inspector gets this masterpiece as a gift at the end of day 19 if he buys a birthday gift for the son on day 18. Needless to say, if a scandalous and rather controversial piece of art like this is hanging on the wall during an inspection by the M.O.A. divisional authority, the inspector will receive a fine (on day 20 or 30) and can get arrested (on day 30, resulting in ending 11).

If the drawing is on the wall on day 25, the third entrant will comment on it.