Innocent until proven guilty.
For some, this mantra for our justice system can seem to exclude those that are causing the most damage to our society. Giant corporations get fined for injustices that potentially take hundreds of lives, while other felons are comparably serving life sentences.
Artists Jeff Greenspan and Andrew Tider explore this idea of injustice through their book Captured: People in Prison Drawing People Who Should Be. As the name describes, it’s a collection of portraits by inmates of CEOs, chairmen, etc. of major companies that have committed equally harmful offenses that have not seen justice quite in the same way.
An article by ArtNet looks into the development and creative process behind the book, with commentary from both authors and a thorough description of their work.
Pictured below are two of the pieces featured in Captured. The Koch brothers are ‘charged’ with bribery, supporting terrorism and rigging the system among other dangerous activities. The two remain free and have a net worth of around $80 billion, while the inmate artist of the piece serves 10 years for theft. Regardless of whether you see any injustice in these (and other) comparisons, all of the inmates’ artwork show individual styles and flair and create quite a collection.
It’s also important to note that all the profits from this book go to Bernie Sanders’ campaign, as he’s promised to support the arts and has made corporate responsibility a main part of his electoral race. I’m relaying this purely for the purpose of letting you know where your money would be going, not to endorse any specific presidential candidate, by the way.
Hopefully this has introduced you to a new aspect of the meanings behind some art and inspire you to create!