How Classic Paintings Influence ‘American Gothic’
American Gothic is more than meets the eye.
The new CBS drama centers on a prominent Boston family and their secrets, and to hear showrunner Corinne Brinkerhoff tell it, features a nod to classical pieces of art in each episode.
The artistic gems should come as no surprise as the series itself shares its name with a famous painting — American Gothic by Grant Wood, which features a pitchfork-toting farmer with a female companion standing in front of a gothic-style ranch home. It’s perhaps one of the most recognizable 20th century American works.
“One of my favorite elements of the show is off of the fact it’s called American Gothic and the family is collectors of fine art,” Brinkerhoff tells The Hollywood Reporter. “We have artists in the family and it is sort of in the fabric of the show already.”
The artists in the Hawthorne family include Cam (Justin Chatwin), a cartoonist, and his possible serial-killer-in-the-making offspring Jack (Gabriel Bateman), who has a passion for drawing dead animals.
Each episode of the drama series is titled after and shows admiration for a famous painting. “We chose a painting that had some thematic resonance with that chapter of our story,” Brinkerhoff explains. “We also looked for a moment that within the frame we could put an homage to the actual painting itself. Those kinds of things distinguish us in a way where it’s not high concept, but there’s details if you’re paying close attention add another layer to the show.”