The Grapes of Wrath is the second painting in my series on the Occupy Wall Street movement. In the blog post, American Crow #1, I gave a little background on the movement as accompaniment to the first painting in this series. After many hours of reading articles and statements on the OWS web pages and related MSM articles, one thing stands out among the cacophony of demands – the idea that the world owes them something simply because they demand it be given them. This is the embodiment of the entitlement culture we have allowed to take hold in our nation. While politicians and elitists are most to blame for this development, we must also take responsibility for our own complacency. It is time to take a stand before our future is picked clean by these scavengers and rogues.
In this second painting from the series, I chose to draw an analogy to the Grapes of Wrath, by Steinbeck, to illustrate the natural outcome of irresponsible behavior and refusal to demand accountability of those who have created a system that preys on ignorance and envy. There is a lesson here for us in the way that history tends to repeat itself when people allow themselves to forget the past.The Great Depression was not an unavoidable tragedy and the government did not lift us up from the brink despair. Because this is not an historical essay I will leave it to the reader to educate themselves on the subject of the Great Depression and return to the topics of culture and propaganda more relevant to the art being discussed.
Like the Joad family in the novel, the OWS movement has set off for better opportunity and the fleeting promise of an easier life. In many cases, they are people who have become disillusioned by circumstances beyond their own control. The similarities quickly fall away however, in all but the reality that awaits them – that the government, it’s minions and those who have established themselves in the pecking order are in control and the needs of the people are not their ultimate goal. I would wager the OWS movement’s realization of their position as pawns is a long time, if ever, in coming. It is not by accident that they view themselves as victims.
About the Painting
The Grapes of Wrath
acrylic, tempera, oil, and glitter on gessoed wood panel
21.5″ wide x 32″ high x 3″ deep
completed September 2012
This painting is currently on display at the Helen Arts and Heritage Center. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for purchasing inquiries.
The Grapes of Wrath is the second painting in an ongoing series on the Occupy Wall Street movement. As discussed in previous articles, the crow is being developed as a symbol of envy, ignorance and thinly veiled violence in pursuit of an entitlement culture devoid of accountability and personal responsibility. The crow and the movement are scavengers on the droppings of the elites and harbingers of a future where our culture has been destroyed and replaced by dependence upon a corrupt establishment.
As the gluttonous dancing crow celebrates his ravages upon the grapes of his neighbors’ labor in the foreground of the painting, the world burns in the background. The flames are not evident yet, but the ruddy glow has discolored the storm-clouds that are building on the horizon. And, like the crow, the OWS movement is focused only on the short-term and immediate gratification of consuming something that they have not built with their own efforts.