Gold is part of David Spriggs’ chromatic artwork series of Stratachromes on the contemporary symbolic meanings of color. Spriggs’ monumental installation presents eleven inverted yellow-golden human figures painted on layers of transparent sheets that are hung within an inverted pyramid structure. Initially reminiscent of the pediment of the New York Stock Exchange, Gold, in the spirit of pittura infamante (defaming portrait) turns the glory of capitalism on its apex, revealing its current precarious state. It speaks to the widening inequity within the Global Wealth Pyramid and the concentration of excessive wealth and corresponding power into the hands of a select few. The artwork was first unveiled on the inauguration day of the US President in 2017 in the central business district in downtown Pittsburgh, also known as the Golden Triangle. This historic location dates back to the gilded age. It is to that age the nation’s current political leadership seeks to return, in their quest to remake the current America into some idolized great state. But is that even possible or is such a return an illusion? And if not an illusion, will the result be to repeat that period’s excesses and failures? The viewer may be unsettled by the mirage-like-forms and suggestively paganic imagery. Is this intensely-saturated golden color representative of fools or of wealth? Yet we note that the figures of the artwork are not engaged in various forms of industry, in service to a central Goddess of Commerce, but rather are subservient, aloof or apart. Such is the relationship of many with today’s economy.
Artist: David Spriggs
Exhibited: Woodstreet Art Galleries, Pittsburgh and Arsenal Montreal.
Size: 11 x 0.7 x 3 m / 433 x 120 x 28 inches
Materials: Painted Layered Transparencies, metal-framework and light-box