American Gothic is one of the most iconic paintings of the 20th century and has been parodied numerous times.
However, art director Linda Rapini saw an opportunity to do things differently for our inaugural issue’s cover and paint a picture of YouAreUNLTD’s target audience – modern, vibrant Canadians who want to live well and age on their own terms in a way that’s optimistic and informed.
While the original composition has multiple interpretations, what you see is a dour duo standing sentry in front of a house. The story is in the details – the cameo broach, the buttoned collar, the overalls, the round spectacles and the pitchfork – represent that era’s ‘everycouple.’
To re-imagine the painting and reflect today’s Canadian Boomers, who embody a middle-age forever mindset, are tech savvy and in control (to the degree anyone can be) of their own well-being, Rapini worked with Toronto photographer Adrian Armstrong. He helped bring to life this fresh take on the ‘everycouple.’
Again, the story is in the details and the team shot several versions to achieve the right balance of accessories and personality.
Toronto stylist Skye Kelton, together with hair and makeup artist Ashley Readings, played a key role in updating the couple, while still keeping with the original works’ familiar composition. The clothing, for instance, is sexy and current, while the models (Uni Park and Sean Gallagher) glow with good health and optimism.
Accessories speak to today’s tools of trade. We tried a number of items, from tablets to smartwatches and exercise gear. The end result, with the phone and the yoga mat, struck the right balance.
The models were great sports. A shot for the inside of the magazine – the one where they are walking towards the house – was a spontaneous moment captured by Armstrong when the two were kidding around.
On the cover, the modern duo is layered over an image of the now iconic Carpenter Gothic style house. (Its actual name is the Dibble House and it still exists in Eldon, Iowa should you want to stop by and recreate your own version of the painting.)
To pick up your copy of the inaugural issue of YouAreUNLTD magazine, visit the pharmacy counter at Wellwise by Shoppers Drug Mart, Shoppers Home Health Care or Shoppers Drug Mart stores in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta.