Pablo Picasso said, “Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.”
Think on that for a second. Apply it to our current season. We are mired in a presidential election that, with each passing day, seems to get more colorful.
How do the rhetoric and endless slog of information get to us — really get to our hearts and minds? Via the very things our writers explore in this special package.
Colors. Design. Movies. Books. Fashion. Theater. They help us organize our thoughts in a very disorganized landscape, and they help us make sense of a world that so often seems to make none.
These stories are not about policy. They’re not about right and wrong. They’re about red and blue, and so much more.
Stephanie Hayes, Times arts and entertainment editor
RED PARTY, BLUE PARTY: The origins of red and blue as political colors
The color wheel explains how we perceive colors and the feelings we attach to them. Red is warm, blue is cool. So is there meaning to the assignation of red to Republicans and blue to Democrats?
NEVER TWEET: Trump, Clinton campaigns a gold mine for comedians
From ‘Delete your account’ to ‘I love Hispanics,’ Twitter has yielded an all-day, all-night buffet of joke fodder. It’s a far cry from 25 years ago, when Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show monologue was the closest thing America had to a nightly pickle barrel.
WELL-HEELED: We want to see what politicians wear. Is that so wrong?
From Clinton’s suits to Trump’s ties, we listen with our eyes, not just our ears, watching for body language, eye contact and messages in appearance.But is documenting the fashion choices of candidates journalistically unsound or antifeminist?
MORE MOORE: Political documentaries have a hard time keeping up in 2016
Michael Moore is missing in action, while Clinton fields weak hits from Dinesh D’Souza. Gone are the days when a political documentary could rile the electorate, when filmmakers could be both reviled and revered as enemies of the state.
PAGE TURNERS: From biographies to satire, taking politicians by the book
Somewhere in the territory between fiction and fact — let’s call it mythmaking — lie candidates’ own books. But what if you’d like to step out of the echo chamber and read a book with relatively objective, detailed information?
WORLD’S A STAGE: Theater directors evaluate the candidates’ stagecraft
Acceptance speeches by nominees represent the kickoff in our political Super Bowl. Contestants are each undertaking a high-stakes mission, the outcome of which depends partly on their motivation and character. If that’s not theater, what is?