Day 328: Greed, by Steve Cox
Steve Cox’s exhibition at Bus Projects is inspired by Dante’s immortal fourteenth century poem Inferno. By weighing into this famous literary source, the artist joins a distinguished line-up of artists that include Eugène Delacroix, Gustave Moreau, Auguste Rodin, and numerous others. Watercolours, drawings, and mixed media collages within the exhibition offer reinterpretation of Dante’s principal characters, and some of the titles of the works are drawn directly from the poem. However, the use of contemporary imagery and references to current events within the works suggest a more contemporary version of hell – the one described by Jean-Paul Sartre in Huit Clos as “L’enfer, c’est les autres” [Hell is other people].
Greed is among the most outstanding works within the exhibition. It depicts an archetypal earth mother, half-human, half-pig, her body is heavy with suckling breasts, and yet she is only prepared to administer the nourishment in exchange for money. The various attributes that surround the figure of Greed indicate that she represents corruption at governmental, judicial, and financial levels.
Steve Cox’s Inferno: A Reinterpretation of Dante is on view at Bus Projects until December 8.
[© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg 2012; where applicable, images are courtesy of the artists and their galleries]