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fijitimes

The Greek Voter (2015) Oil on Canvas, National Portrait Gallery, London (is where it should be)

From the artist’s expressionist period, The Greek Voter is an allegory of the state of mind of the Greek people due to vote for a new national government in January 2015. The self-portrait operates on multiple levels of signification. The low angle is traditionally used to depict the subject in a position of authority but here the voter voluntarily waives this advantage, bowing in order to read the newspaper. He is not in a powerful position anymore, because of his media use. The front page is a reference to the sea storm of old, new and social media info-nonsense that the reader has to navigate to vote responsibly but the artist goes further. The Fiji Times, apart from being ‘the first newspaper published in the world everyday’ because of the day-time line (while at the same only reproducing old news), simultaneously sustains a semblance to countries with infrastructures (The London Times, The New York Times) and asks an important question: Is the subject’s Fiji a utopia or a dystopia? Is it a seaside paradise or a dysfunctional country, a dictatorship run by higher powers and  facing an uncertain future?

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