This collection of work is a reflection on world economic forums and G summit series and how they undermine democracy and often lead to violently disrupting the civilians and cities in which they are hosted. These well-publicized events highlight an opportunity for world leaders and corporations to bump elbows, share anecdotes and discuss economic philosophy, disregarding any opportunity for public participation or representation. For me these events resemble a gathering of the animal powerhouse’s from the financial and political jungles where only the wealthy survive.
I have chosen to replace the faces of these leaders and corporate representatives with those of animals that I feel reflect a truer sense of their character. Howard Zinn, a political science professor and activist believed that, “Art moves away from reality and invents something that may be ultimately more accurate about the world than what a photograph can depict.” Affection and friendship expressed through overt body language and tone in front of the cameras communicate an often convincing, but false sense of ‘we’re all in this together’.
I believe that art should be socially challenging, not based solely on aesthetics. I paint what I paint because I am concerned about the direction we’re headed in as a species. Few people are making decisions that consistently and negatively effect a large percentage of the population; and I believe there is a desperate need for things to change. With the current occupy movement fresh in the memories of Canadians and most of the developed world, artists have the opportunity to respond to a significant time in our generations history in very creative and challenging ways. It is our responsibility as artists to continue to engage and encourage people both locally and globally to keep asking questions of those who control the financial structures we’re forced to survive in.