Driving through Hollywood during the middle of coronavirus quarantine this giant green sign reading “Who Buys The Con?” stopped me in my tracks. And since COVID-19 is the only thing we read or hear about on the news these days, I thought it might just have something to do with the issues at stake regarding the coronavirus shutdown.
When I returned home I researched it. It isn’t a billboard. It’s art. Art created by a rather famous artist. And whether or not is has anything to do with what many believe is the coronavirus con is left up to the interpretation of the person viewing it.
The work was created by artist Barbara Kruger who is known for her “pictures and words” style of art. One of her longest running installations is at the Geffen Contermporary MOCA where the words ask the questions “Who is beyond the law?” “Who is bought and sold” and “Who is free to choose?”.
The Who Buys The Con on the walls of NeueHouse in Hollywood mural is part of a series of artworks called Untitled Questions that are appearing all over LA. People who have seen the mural say they think it is about all the bull in Hollywood, or politics, or the lies con artists expect you to swallow. And some think is has to do with the coronavirus epidemic con since it appears as the virus spread.
As far as we know, Barbara Kruger isn’t saying what she had in mind when she created it. It’s up to the person viewing the art to fill in the meaning. And allowing the viewer to write the story behind the work is a hallmark of great art.