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The Great Collapse aka the Economy

Title: The Great Collapse (lady liberty falls to her knees) aka the Economy
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Size: 40 x 30 inches
Series: Back-Story Under Painting (The first in the series)
ID#: SGR3023
Year: 2009-10
Price for Original: $2,000
Description/Notes: This painting was inspired by the recent economic crisis.  It’s hard to tell from the image seen here, but remember this is part of the “Back-story Underpainting” so the final layer of paint does not tell the whole story, it’s the layers under that do.

There are a roughly 13 layers or phases to this painting. Each with an intriguing back-story but to save on time, only a few will be mentioned. For further detail the reader can go to 66.147.244.107/~samrolof for the full back-story.

Under all these layers Lady Liberty can be seen in the center of the painting; her body has been left naked and transparent. She has fallen to her knees.  The top part of her head was later collaged on as a large square print that can still be seen through the layers of paint.  As this was being added so were other features like a portrait of Bill Gross as “King of the Bond Market” who then later turned into George Soros. He is shown here with a “mock” Kings Crown and a side note of “White Collar Crime” below the portrait.  Obama and other names were also added and some were “whited out”, the artist believed the whited out words reflected the governments attempt to correct and hide inherent issues.

All of these images and words represented the build up to the grand finale which is the collapse or murder of the economy. This “murder” scene was acted out in the studio with a half gallon of red paint that was splattered on the painting while writing the words “Redrum”, which is the word murder as if seen through a mirror as in the movie “The Shinning”. While this faux murder was being executed four other paintings were hanging on the wall acting as witnesses to the scene. Small splatters of red paint can still be seen on each piece as if evidence of a crime. These splatters are also used in their back-story tying all the paintings together.

These later layers are mostly about the bail outs and white-outs where the artist used massive amounts of sky blue to cover up the past in an attempt to wipe the slate clean and start fresh but still leaving behind some of the past. The blue also symbolizes the hope that the Obama administration was bringing to the economic situation.

On one of the final layers a self portrait of Sam Roloff can be seen roughly sketched in full with his crutch in one hand and grabbing the torch of the Statue of Liberty in the other suggesting the idea of the artist standing up to lead the way. All of these layers and more were eventually covered up leaving only hints of each phase. The final scene being one of serene beauty with stormy overtones and quite resolve.

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Click here to view the Finished book on Shutterfly.com

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