paper 224 g/m2
White wooden frame, Plexiglass
55 1/8 x 83 1/8 in.
57 1/2 x 85 3/8 in. framed
papier Canson 224 g/m2
Encadrement bois blanc, Plexiglas
140 x 211 cm
146 x 217 cm encadré
And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering and to conquer
This drawing is the first work in the series devoted to the theme of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, announcing the scourges that usher in the end of the world. In four drawings, the artist transposes this theme to contemporary society.
The setting of this representation is an old neo-Gothic smoking room from the early 20th century. Originally built for a steamboat, it was recreated and is now on display at the Great Lakes Museum in Chicago. The boat carried businessmen between Detroit, Michigan, Buffalo and New York. In the background to this Gothic room we find a piece of stained glass dedicated to René Robert Le Cavelier de la Salle, who explored the Great Lakes of the United States and Canada, but also the Mississippi River, for the French king in the 17th century
The four horsemen are described in eight verses of the book of Revelation. They appear when the Lamb opens the first four seals. For each seal that is broken, John sees a rider with a horse of a different colour. The white horse at the centre of this composition represents conquest, desire and victory. There have been many different interpretations of this apparition in the book of Revelation. Ancient and modern authors, whether Catholic, Protestant or atheist, have seen it as a symbol of Christ or the triumphant preaching of the Gospel, the “Word of God.” Here, this is symbolised by the explorer De la Salle, who evangelised the American Indians. The bow and crown seen in the artist’s signature represent, respectively, knowledge of the Word of God, and victory.
Religions have always been used to justify the conquest of new territories and the expansion of temporal power. Today, wars are still waged in the name of God and our new economic and financial “religions.”