Flower Interruption: TAX THE RICH, San Francisco, CA, 2013
TAX THE RICH is part of my ongoing work in support of the need for a fundamental shift from free-market capitalism to a new way of being that’s rooted in compassion, generosity, and true equality for all beings. The current model puts profit before all else and is literally destroying the environment, health, and wellbeing of the planet and all its inhabitants. As Cornel West has noted: “We’re living in a society where everybody is up for sale. Everything is up for sale.” Integrity has become a rare anomaly in our contemporary culture.
While taxing the rich is not a long-term solution, it is a much-needed step in the process for attaining equity. Ultimately, the global community must move away from capitalism and the use of “profit” and “growth” as indicators of success and prosperity and instead develop new models and alternative measures such as Bhutan’s Gross Nation Happiness (GNH) index that uses the collective indicators of Psychological Wellbeing, Health, Time Use, Education, Cultural Diversity and Resilience, Good Governance, Community Vitality, Ecological Diversity and Resilience, and Living Standards.
The mural was painted on San Francisco’s Clarion Alley in July/August 2013 during the 2013 America’s Cup hosted in San Francisco and sponsored by Louis Vuitton, each an emblem of wealth and excess. Capitalizing on this convergence of affluence, I used the classic Louis Vuitton brown as the background, the highly recognizable SF Giants colors for the text, and added Louis Vuitton artist/designer Takashi Murakami’s floral smiley faces to my own iconic flowers.