Corporations are people, too. At least that was the finding of the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case of 2010. While some of us may have extrapolated from that that corporations deserve to suffer the same indignities as the rest of us traditional meat-based people, like the occasional punch in the nose for example, artist Sarah Guthrie took a more, well, artist-y position. “What does it mean that a corporation is now a person?” she asks. “Wouldn’t a corporation want an iconic portrait to immortalize itself? What image is the face of a corporation?” A giant pig in a top hat smoking cigars lit with hundred dollar bills has always been my interpretation, but I’m not the artist here.
Her solution was to depict various corporations that have been in the news lately for, among other things, “legally paying less in federal income tax than you and me” as iconic images from throughout art history. One of these days the good guys in the long-running art versus power rivalry are going to come away with a win. Any day now.