Our sad little flamingo lies in dirt and decay. Once the undisputed king of happy sunny days and lawn art, it finds itself being used for art of another kind. Just like the art found on a typical Euro banknote. Conceived to produce one kind of message, the Euro currency finds itself being used to broadcast another.
Satire Never Dies:
As the recent result of the Charlie Hebdo incident shows, it is absurd to believe that satire will somehow magically disappear. Indeed, the use of satire to not only poke fun at but to educate a population to a particular point of view has been alive and well since before the Ancient Greeks.
It was only a matter of time before the people at Designboom pointed out the next international satiric salvo as drawn by the Greek artist known as Stefano.
The news that Greece is in an economic crisis isn’t actually news to anyone. I don’t believe a single week can go by without some journalistic news program or article being written about the Greece’s floundering debt crisis and their relationship with the European Union’s Euro.
Greek Art Strikes Back:
Stefano obviously sees the crisis from the point of view of a Greek artist, for he does a very artistic thing. He’s collected and then drawn caricatures on the new infamously artistically boring euro notes. He then spends those euros allowing them to circulate through what economy is left. Stefano successfully uses art and the power of satire to add an emotional meaning to the euros he has changed with his drawings.
At times the meanings are very poignant to his belief in the euro financial system. The image of a dead body with a knife in it’s back, death pictured with a scythe, or even the hanging body of a dead man obviously clues us into a suggestion that the Euro zone is backstabbing the Greek economy.
Whether the art is a true representation or an erroneous pointing of a sociopolitical finger does not matter. Art is not about always about truth. These small works on the Euro do, however, reflect what many in Greece feel is a realistic portrayal of what the crisis means to them.
Being caught up in this economic quagmire, Stefano replied to the situation as most artists would. He made art. He created imagery that solidifies his view of the general Greek resentment against the EU and its policies. That he choose the banknotes as his media is nothing more than proof that like the lawn flamingo, art and satire often go hand in hand.
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