Begging the Beggars

April 2nd, 2012 at 5:17 am (Uncategorized)

This project was inspired by the novella The Beggar’s Strike. The central message I took from the text was that regardless of status or wealth, the human race is made up of selfish and needy individuals caught in a symbiotic relationship with one another. The author demonstrates this by turning society upside down, and showing that not only are the traditional beggars reliant on the wealthy for their physical survival, but the wealthy people are reliant on the beggars for their own spiritual survival.

My piece depicts the poignant scene in which Mour is begging to the beggar community to accept his offering. All of the subjects in the picture are composed of trash to demonstrate that everyone is a beggar under the surface of pretention and material wealth. Mour is the prostrated figure, composed of flashy, luminescent trash while the beggar is standing erect at left, composed of grungier trash. The figures are separated by Mour’s offering, composed of more metallic trash.

Through this piece, I also incorporate my own commentary on the novella; though I agree with the author’s rather pessimistic view of the relationship between the various groups within society, and the idea that all men are equal regardless of whatever societal categories we are placed in, I also believe that though we are all self-interested beggars on some level, we are multidimensional, and God sees the good in all of us,in spite of our poor choices and outward actions.  Inspired by the story of Jesus and the dog in which Jesus points out the beauty of the dog’s teeth within its ugly corpse, I made gold hearts for each individual in the picture. Buried beneath the trash and selfish motives is purity.

Materials:

wood scrap, metal scrap, welding rod, ceramic tile scrap, razor blade, plastic beads, straw, pen cap, guitar picks, airplane headphones, jar cover, coins, plastic costume badge, yarn, screws, nuts, paint, water bottle cover, pins, washers