I've constructed this most recent piece--called "If You're Not Losing Your Head, You're Not Paying Attention"--in a 10" X 10" metal cash box, exactly like the one above. (Actually, the lid has been removed, so it's really made from the bottom two-thirds of a cash box.) After composing the various elements into the finished product, I discovered that the use of a cash box ended up being rather fitting, given the message of my piece. I've said before that my art is, more than anything else, satirical at heart--so, yes, most of my pieces have a message/theme. "If You're Not Losing Your Head..." pokes fun at us Americans, an easily-herded and -manipulated breed (sheeple). Normally I don't comment on my intended message because I feel it's important that those who view the art (like readers of literature) generate their own themes. However, given the serendipitous nature of how the box itself tied into my message, I figured a little explanation might be in order.
The power elite in this country (organized religion, Wall Street, the military industrial complex, corporate media, and so on) and their representatives slithering through D.C. and statehouses across the country have used FEAR--sometimes blatantly, but often subliminally--to manipulate us. Sadly, this tactic (scare the shit out of them so they don't question anything) has been, by and large, quite successful. We're surrounded by fear-inducing messages--hence the "Warning Wheel," which I happened across on a walk one morning, serving as kind of a halo in my piece (see below detail shot). The goal of those in charge is that we so "lose our heads" in fear and distraction that we'll sign over our minds and willingly accept what can only be described as mental servitude. In addition, like a professional pick-pocket, the power elite hold our attention, all the while reaching into our pockets and lifting our cash (see how the cash box fit in?). So, anyway, take it or leave it--that's the story of how "If You're Not Losing Your Head, You're Not Paying Attention" came to be.
Below is a side view, where you can see the depth (about 3") of the cash box that houses the piece.
The sharp nails (above) and barbed wire (below) were conscious choices--there's DANGER out there...be AFRAID!
The (sometimes mad) ramblings of a mixed media artist.