4. Renowned but mysterious graffiti artist Banksy has made a name for himself by putting up renegade art that attacks not only capitalism, but our political world at large. This 2004 image combines the iconic photo of a Vietnamese girl fleeing after being burned by a napalm attack with two commercially iconic figures: Mickey Mouse and Ronald McDonald.
The juxtaposition highlights the consumerist culture designed to distract us from the atrocities going on around us. The troubling satire asks whether these cherished characters are actually helping to create a better world or contributing to the problems at hand.
5. “Capitalism Works for Me!” is a traveling exhibit that recently took up residence in Times Square. The piece uses capitalism’s own flashy conventions to question the system rather than outright condemn it.
“I wanted to get people thinking about something better than the system we have,” said the artist Steve Lambert. “But if you bring it up in a one-on-one conversation, people usually just run.” The piece invites passersby to cast a vote of true or false to the title’s claim and keeps score so others can gauge how well capitalism is working for their neighbors.
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