This sculpture is an observation on the financial crisis currently engulfing the world. [October 2008]
September 15, 2008 marked the start of a financial crisis worse than anything in our lifetimes.
Like two giant stones thrown into a pond, the sudden and total collapse of two very big, very old companies (Lehman Brothers and AIG) caused ripples in our economy. It was becoming clear that the systems we use to control and organize money just don't work.
Every day for weeks, the ripples grew. The world's financial systems begin to fall apart at the seams. Major banks folded. Big companies were going bankrupt. The stock market was bleeding. People's retirements savings were wiped out. And the governments of the world panicked, spending unheard-of amounts of money to try to fix the problem. No one is sure how or when this will end...
A short order
In the stock market, big time investors can place what's called a "short order" to make money off falling prices. They profit when everyone else is losing. It's symbolic of the entire investment banking industry: a way for the rich and powerful to make tons of money off all of the hard working people in the world.
A short order cook
At my local deli, the short order cook leaves a jar on top of the counter for tips. The day after this crisis began I was getting some eggs for breakfast and noticed that the cook had written on the tip cup: "Euro & Peso accepted too". It seemed symbolic of the entire crisis, and begged the question, "is the sun setting on the United States?"
I realized that both the short order cook and the short order investor were in the same financial mess... But at least this time, the hard working person was the one making the money.
This tip cup from my local deli inspired this sculpture.