"A picture is worth a 1000 words" goes the old saying. But for LA artist Alex Schaefer, a picture is worth a few visits by the Los Angeles Police Department, an arrest, and a spike in sales of the painter's works.
Schaefer has found his artistic calling by portraying major US banks, including Chase and Bank of America, on fire. But the works are not without their detractors.
His works were thrust into the artistic spotlight after multiple interrogations by the police regarding the artist's intentions went viral. Needless to say, sales of his paintings became a hot commodity on Ebay, some selling for as much as $10,000.
But does Schaefer wish to see the raging infernos in his paintings come to life? Does he thrive on the controversy his works produce? According to Schaefer, the naysayers who label him a "terrorist" have misinterpreted his works completely.
Schaefer asks the public to take a harsh look at how they perceive major banks. Is an overhaul of the system such a bad idea? These banks, who promise financial security, are often bailed out while their clients come out on the bum end of a real estate loan with little to show for it. While Schaefer alludes to a change in the financial system, he nevertheless leaves the conversation open for interpretation. As cryptocurrency has taken off as a legitimate market in the beginning of the 21st century, the idea of the digital currency becoming the norm in our world is no longer a pipedream anymore, even if the graphic depictions of fire and destruction by Schaefer are (hopefully) never realized.