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All images Copyright
Chris Crites
2000 - 2017
 
bagpainter.com

Pay-To-Play

January 16 - March 2, 2009, 360SEE Gallery, Chicago, IL.
(scroll down to see all three)

Governor Rod Blagojevich.
Corruption, conspiracy. Arrested and indicted.
Former Governor George Ryan.
Racketeering, conspiracy, mail fraud, tax fraud, false statements to the FBI and 12 other felony charges. Convicted.
Antoin "Tony" Rezko.
Fraud, money laundering, bribery and 13 other federal counts. Convicted.
Pay-To-Play

In my own artwork, I am particularly interested in portraiture. Much of my work has been based on mug shot photographs of anonymous people from the past. During last year’s election campaign many people asked me to paint portraits of Barack Obama. I declined these offers because it seemed that not only were so many other artists painting Obama, but I generally shy away from directly political material.

However, when Jordan Witkov of 360SEE in Chicago mentioned the idea of painting Governor Rod Blagojevich and two of Illinois convicted political players, (George Ryan and Tony Rezko) I couldn’t resist. Since I knew all three had been arrested, I searched for their mug shots. That is really how I wanted them displayed. Either because they are too recent or too connected politically, the mug shots didn’t appear to be publicly available. Instead I chose Blagojevich’s Governor portrait and his smile sums up the situation quite well. These paintings will hopefully serve as a reminder that in this time of transition between administrations and the collective enthusiasm of some over the election, politics are still politics. Which is to say, politics can easily be crooked, corrupt and are a big money game. Liars lie and buyers buy. What exactly is told and sold is up to the rest of us to find out and act upon.

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
-attributed to Thomas Jefferson