Reflecting on his choice of easily recognizable images, Johns said that he was interested in "the idea of knowing an image rather than just seeing it out of the corner of your eye." The map of the United States, in its ubiquity and iconicity, is "seen and not looked at, not examined." Preserving the overall proportions of the country and the shape of its states, Johns's energetic application of paint subverts the conventions of cartography, as do the stenciled names of states, such as Colorado, which is repeated in several locations. Map invites close inspection because its content is both familiar and imaginary.
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