In conjunction with the annual Venice Artwalk, painted on the exterior of the landmark Red Fort building built in 1922, artist Jesse Hazelip, created the following mural titled “Hearts of Oak.” The artist’s mural depicts an oversized pig being chauffeured on chariot-like vessel by a bull, used as a metaphor for the excess and gluttony of Wall Street, and the suffering working class. Combining spray paint and wheatpaste, the mural has multiple layers of imagery and can be seen in person at 901 Pacific Ave in Venice Beach, Ca.
Information on the mural from the artist:
The term “Bailout” has become a household term amongst the American people who lost their jobs, their homes and their savings to the crooks on Wall Street whose wrongdoings were answered with government charity instead of penance.
This mural, titled “Hearts of Oak” (Cockney slang for broke), depicts an aggrandized and inflated version of the pig to represent the excess and gluttony of Wall Street. The pig is being chauffeured in an ornately gilt vessel on the back of the bull, which I use as metaphor for the working class. Adorned with blinders and the bondage of a service animal (slave), the horns have been rendered useless leaving the bull vulnerable without any form of defense. My viewpoint is that the working class has suffered greatly, having carried the burden throughout the financial crisis while the leaders of financial institutions continue to profit.
Through an intentional use of recognizable imagery, I choose to create dialogue with a wide range of viewers, such as the working class, rather than communicating strictly with the art world. This decision is influenced and inspired by George Orwell’s book 1984, and the theory in the book that the hope for the nation is with the proletariats.
See more of Jesse Hazelip's work at his website
All photographs by Ralph Ziman