The mathNEWS cover selection process is a long and arduous one. Many possible covers are considered, with all but one failing to make the cut. Nevertheless, these rejected covers can be considered as works of art in their own right, and as mathNEWS's art critic, I've decided to treat you to these rarely seen gems, with commentary on a few of my favourites. All these are done exclusively in the medium of StaRedi Super Permanent Marker-B on I.B.M. 20 lb. Multipurpose White Paper.
One of my personal favourites is "Dinosaur Fight." This harsh depiction of reptilian violence is indeed a powerful work. One of the combatants is incomplete, missing a back and part of its head, sending a powerful message that violence, in the end, leaves one spiritually empty. The choice of prehistoric combatants further suggests that violence is an antiquated concept of which humanity must cleanse itself in order to achieve its full potential.
"Mathie eating pizza"
"Mathie eating pizza" is a truly heartwrenching entry, a testament to the lack of nutritional options available to those in the Math Faculty. You can just hear the the artist asking, "Why doesn't the MGC ever run any carrot and celery days? Why? For the love of all that is good and holy, why?!" Note how the mathie^Rs glasses are knocked off his head, symbolizing the destruction of his intellect through the ravages of trans-fatty acids in the pizza. Observe how this mathie is devoid of emotion, perhaps a product of staring at one too many equations, yet a disembodied smiling face taunts him, mocking his quest for true happiness and spiritual enlightenment.
"A man and his dog 'blindfolded'"
Another of my favourites is "A man and his dog 'blindfolded'." You may not be able to tell from looking at it, but the artist was in fact blindfolded while creating this depiction of a blindfolded man with his blindfolded dog. This confluence of artist and work would surely have pleased Aristotle — not only does art imitate life, but life now imitates art. The prevalence of the happy, smiling sun in this work serves as a poignant message that solar power is acting as a kind of societal blindfold, distracting people's attention from other, more prevalent and environmentally destructive forms of energy generation such as coal and nuclear plants.
Finally, I would like to draw your attention to "Bunny Wabbit," a depiction of a three-armed rabbit attempting to grasp a carrot that is just out of reach. What better way to encapsulate the struggle of the proletariat against its capitalist oppressors. The hard-working, industrious rabbit symbolizes the working class — its extra arm clearly indicating that it represents all workers in society and not merely one particular worker. The carrot of material wealth and control of the means of production, which serves as the worker's only motivation in capitalist society, is always kept just out of reach by the industrial masters. The obvious Warner Brothers cartoon reference is also a sly commentary on the role played by the entertainment media in perpetuating neo-capitalist hegemony.
I hope you have enjoyed this rare look into the world of rejected cover art. If this proves to be a popular feature, we may repeat it in a future issue of mathNEWS.