"Great Leap Forward" oil on canvas 2017
This piece, part of my recent show with @thinkspace_art, began as a reaction to Trump’s proposed border wall and other antics from this administration. It got me thinking about examples from history in which brutish solutions failed to address nuanced problems. The (namesake) Great Leap Forward was Mao Zedong’s campaign to force China from an agrarian economy to an industrial one. A particularly insidious part was the mandate to kill all Eurasian tree sparrows and rats in China in an effort to boost grain production for export. The plan failed but not before creating an ecological imbalance that greatly exacerbated the Great Chinese Famine. In the painting are several references to Mao’s rise to power and looking on are 3 tree sparrows and a rat.
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