Midas Touch

(8 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)


Midas Touch ©2008 Emily Duffy Photo by Sibila Savage

Dimensions: 42″ x 24″ x 8″

Description: A wedge-shaped wall hanging simulates a cliff. A toy gas tanker is about to topple off the edge while a chain of elephants (collaged in the U.S. Constitution, and GOP applique patches) march across it’s back. Oversized soldiers defend the tanker. The strata of the cliff is built up from a mound of soldiers, military equipment, then gas-guzzling automobiles.

Materials: Plastic toys, metal, paper, plaster, wood, gold metallic paint, reproductions of the U.S. Constitution, Republican Party logo patches.

Cross Posted at Elephant in the Room (Go there for larger views of images if you wish.)

This sculpture was inspired by greed. Like the tale of King Midas recent American history (particularly the period beginning with Ronald Regan era Laissez-faire economics) has focused on personal wealth creation above the enrichment of communities or the nation as a whole.

The Republican anti-tax ideology promotes what they call “small” government which they believe should not interfere with anything business wishes to do in pursuit of profit. For more than a decade now Americans for Tax Reform founder Grover Norquist has been pushing the inaccurate philosophy that the market would be self-regulating and self-correcting, that profits from billionaires would “trickle-down” to middle and lower class Americans and everyone was going to get rich. The result of the realization of this philosophy has resulted in a turn-around from Bill Clinton’s term as President (a Federal budget SURPLUS of $559 billion in 2001) to George W. Bush’s current Federal DEFICIT of $407 billion in 2008.


Midas Touch Detail ©2008 Emily Duffy Photo by Sibila Savage

What happened instead is that greed ran rampant and multi-national corporations became so corrupt that several large firms exploded into ruin. The most egregious case (so far) being the meltdown of Enron Energy Corporation.


Midas Touch Detail ©2008 Emily Duffy Photo by Sibila Savage

The Republican Party has been intimately involved in this corruption and in fact lobbyists and lawmakers (via revolving door) from the energy, financial, military, and war reconstruction, sectors have been intertwined with the past decade of Republican rule. Today’s meltdown of Lehman Brothers is just the latest in a long series of bungled financial schemes right-wing ideology has caused.


Midas Touch Detail ©2008 Emily Duffy Photo by Sibila Savage

Republican Presidential candidate, John McCain current has dozens of lobbyists both staffing and advising his campaign. Yet McCain claims to be an “agent of change” and a “maverick”, he’s neither! How the American press can still call him either of these things when he’s voted with President Bush more than 90% of the time over the past 8 years is insane.

The Midas Touch sculpture is a warning that we not let the Republican Party drive us all over the symbolic cliff with their greed and refusal to allow REAL change (such as moving away from an oil-based economy.)

NOTE: You’re welcome to share my artwork and comments with anyone you think might appreciate them. But I ask that you give proper credit of these copyrighted works and link them back to this blog. None of this artwork may be used by others for profit of any kind.

Please help spread the link to this blog everywhere you can. This artwork was created for the purpose of making Americans think carefully about the kind of country they want this to be when they vote on November 4, 2008. Do they want a continuation of 8 years of fear, war, division, hate, economic drain, isolationism, and denial of science, climate change, and basic reality? If not, they need to vote for, support, donate to, and cover the back of the Democratic candidate, Barack Obama.


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  1. … what this sculpture is made of?  It’s just beautiful, an odd word to use, I know, given the subject matter.

    I really love your work, Emily, can look at it for a long time and appreciate it.

  2. i guess my impression is colored by my own prejudices…but the word that comes to mind is ‘creeps’  it creeps…

    i especially love that the humans are on the bottom.  very evocative…i dont know anyone who doesnt feel like s/he’s almost physically propping up some corporate or economic master or another….

    excellent work, emily.  thanks for sharing it

    • robodd on September 16, 2008 at 5:07 am

    that captures it.

    My materials would have been shit spray painted gold.

  3. and if I lived near a farm I’d recreate these sculptures with the appropriate raw materials, spray painted gold at the top, diminishing to the unvarnished truth at the foundation.

    • OPOL on September 16, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    as usual.  🙂

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