The rats in the monkey’s cage, 2011
At the Mumbai Zoo the star attraction is the rhesus monkeys, and because of this, the zoo management has given them the biggest cage proportionate to their size. They are fed the best by the zoo staff and the visitors who ignore the “Don’t Feed the Animals” sign. The monkeys hang on to the ropes and cling to the car tires tied to the bottom of the ropes.
If you throw some food onto the cage floor, the monkeys will lean down from the rope and stretch for the food. The rats lay in wait for the monkeys to leave their rope prisons and to go for the food. They attack instantly and, all together, chase the hungry monkeys back up the rope or up the cage walls. Then you notice the bloodied bandages around the feet and hands of the monkeys, the faces of the monkeys that never sleep, and their stomachs that never get filled. The rats in India are the meanest in the world, and in the zoos they are the fattest. They bully all the animals in the zoos from the elephants to the lions.
This painting is about the many star attractions in the world which are really miserable and under the control of the rats under the surface.
I’m in a group show called Botanica Humana in Melbourne with 12 other artists. It opens on Thursday 3rd May 6-8 pm, 424 Smith Street, Collingwood at Here We See – Gallery There. It is on until May 27th, 2018. Here is some more information:
The painting is: Cameron Hayes | In the end they wanted even cats to know them | 2017 | Oil on linen | 198 x 254 cm
Schopenhauer said life is a choice between loneliness and vulgarity. In this picture the most congested area of traffic is the red carpet. To get people to move in this painting you need to lure them with red carpet despite the carpet being draped over a rickety skeleton of a disused theme park.
Because of facebook, twitter etc… everyone can get everyone to know them. People are now left with only cats to impress. Cats are the least impressed by people and therefore become the most powerful of all animals. Soon cats run the world, people work to build giant scratching poles and perches with windowsills. Because cats communicate through smells people are forbidden from cleaning and wearing facemasks and nose plugs. Big brother cat face posters control people from every corner.
Other animals are now trying to get to be known by strangers as well and jungle animals are climbing with their information plaques (facebook pages) to get into the zoo cages so they can be seen by more people and tuna fish are hiding in tins so that they can get into their red carpet – the supermarket.
People aren’t wearing pants to show that they could be on T.V, post boxes are overflowing with sent letters no-one wants to receive, planes are being loaded with people’s facebook pages (information plaques) while the owners wait on luggage trolleys.
Like the animals fighting to put their information plaques in the zoo cages, priests are fighting to speak from the one pulpit while men and women dressed in diapers fight to reclaim the bed where they were nurtured by their mothers and made to feel that the whole world was interested in only them.
Ronald Feldman Gallery will exhibit a series of figurative paintings by the Australian artist, Cameron Hayes, for his fourth exhibition at the gallery. The paintings evoke the phantasmagoric worlds of Bruegel, but his scenes address the contemporary world. The paintings, some as large as 6’ x 8’, are visually complex, depicting groups of manic figures in absurd scenarios. Hayes’ vision of the human condition is comic and bleak, yet laced with poignance. The detailed paintings reward a close reading.
Join Cameron who will be in New York to attend the exhibition reception.
Ronald Feldman Gallery
31 Mercer Street , New York
Exhibition reception: Saturday 6th January 2018, 6 – 8 pm
Image: Martina Navratilova versus Chris Evert Lloyd
Oil on linen, 194 x 254 cm
Martina Navratilova’s dad left her family when she was three and committed suicide when she was eight. Her first coach was her stepfather. She grew up in communist Prague where even if you had a father he was horribly emasculated by the government system. In her mid teens, Navratilova took her complicated psychology to the women’s tennis tour of the late ’70s where players were given mops and aprons for winning tournaments.
Chris Evert’s dad was a tennis coach. As the women’s tennis tour grew, it became clear that women playing for money and fame could not compete against an opponent playing for her father’s love.
Elmyr de Hory was a prolific art forger. During the 50’s and 60’s he specialised mainly in the fauves ; Matisse, Dufy ect… Fernand Legros was an illegal immigrant from Egypt and a ballet dancer , who with his lover Canadian backpacker Real Lessard sold de Hory’s forgeries to some of the biggest art museums and most of the biggest art collectors in Europe and the U.S. During the 1960s, they proved the fine art world was as brand gullible as any bunch of teenage girls in any suburban shopping mall.
In 1820, Gregor MacGregor made up a fake country called the Republic of Poyais. He opened offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London where he sold Poyais real estate and exchanged money for the Poyais dollars his mate printed for him. After months in a boat doing laps of Central America, the few Poyais investors who had survived realised there was no Poyais but refused to accept they’d been duped.
This is Fernand Legros, so desperate for money and so contemptuos of his art buyers he often couldn’t wait for his fake Matisse’s, Duffy’s ect…to completely dry before he showed/selled them to his clients. Here he sells his art to backpackers off a clothes line with one of his young men/boy assistants who he always dressed in expensive suits. To his right is one of the partys he threw with fake celebrities – european royalty.
Here nuns sell fake holy relics in front of their cardboard church. The nuns sell milk from the Virgin Mary with two cows suspiciously grazing behind them along with a Matisse painting by naked women trying to selfie themselves while struggling to include all their fake handbags. The scene is made credible by the velvet rope surrounding it, which is rolled out like electric cable by workmen.
People in Poyais weren’t interested in the painting – just the brand so they showed of their art collection by hanging them on the outside of their houses. To make the crude seem classy, opening champagne arrives in wheelbarrows.
In the late 70’s and early 80’s when people watched Chris Evert Lloyd and Martina Navratilova play tennis they saw christians vs. the rest of the world, they saw freedom vs. communism, hetro vs. homosexuality, beauty vs. brawn, ladieness vs. ambition and fantasy vs. reality . Detail 1
Martina’s dad leaft her family when she was 3 and he committed suicide when Martina was 8. Martina’s early coach was her stepfather. Martina grew up in communist Prague where even if you had a living and present father he was horribly emasculated by the government system which demanded obsequious obedience. The government made the decisions for the family. Many office buildings in Prague have tennis nets painted on the outside of them with distant fathers inside them and orphaned daughters hitting against them, the balls never penetrating and always coming back. Detail 2
In her mid teens – chaperoned by middle-aged male communist officials – Martina took her complicated psychology to the women’s tennis tour of the the late 1970’s where the players were given mops , cleaning detergent and ovens for winning tournaments. Detail 3
Chris Evert grew up amongst a big middle class suburban family. The family constantly posing with tennis trophies in white tennis clothes and under metres of shampooed blonde hair. Chris’s dad was a tennis coach and Chris – no more talented than her siblings – determinedly rose to the top of her fathers affections with faultless ground strokes and a stealy focus.
As the womens world tennis tour grew in the early 80’s it soon became a celebration of poor parenting. The women playing for money and fame could not compete against an opponent playing to win her father’s (coach’s) love.
Most of the girls farmed out to the tennis tour had barely developed out of the fairytale and pony stage. Underdeveloped and needy they live in hotels and airports, relentlessly compared and assessed , sponsored and then not. Finally – exausted and injured they are leaft in a pile somewhere in a foriegn country with only torn tennis dresses and a suitcase full of plastic trophies. They walk the streets looking for the joy and big hugs their fathers gave them when they won .This is what the painting is mainly about.