Last modified: 7:58 AM Saturday, 14 January 2017

Bull market?

As an artist, Josh Keyes seems to be principally a surrealist: He freely combines animals, landscapes, statuary, technology and other, often incongruous elements to form tableaux of the inexplicable. But he also makes repeated use of certain themes with symbolic suggestiveness, among them the ubiquity of the apparatus of the surveillance state, as we see here.

Bullish and bearish

Bullish and bearish: State of the Union?
[ Image Source ]

I selected this image by way of example because it seems to say something about the condition of our lives at the dead and abysmal heart of empire: We’re “bullish” by projection; this is how we would have the world see us. But the bull is not alive — it is a mere statue wrought of bronze and embellished with cameras and a motion detector, all of which has not sufficed to stop taggers defacing it with their handiwork — and behind it stands a bear, very much alive.

The bear, as I say, is alive and real. But the bull is just that: bull. With apparatus or without, it cows no one.

Originally published as a review of a gallery of Josh Keyes’ paintings. Update: As of 7 April 2015, this page cannot be found.

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