paper 224 g/m2
White wooden frame
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
140 x 211 cm
146 x 217 cm encadré
So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius: and do not harm the oil and the wine."
This drawing in the series of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse represents the opening of the third seal.
The setting is one of the conference rooms at the 33rd G8 summit at Heiligendamm, Germany. Under the presidency of Germany, the theme of this G8 was “Growth and Responsibility.” The main issues were sustainable development and aid for economic development in Africa.
The conference room is deserted, except, at the centre, for a black horse that lies, sacrificed, on the main desk. This representation replays the opening of the third seal with the appearance of a black horse and a rider holding a set of scales, symbolising famine. In this case, the scales (which also appear in the artist’s signature) reference the exorbitant prices reached at the time by the staple foods of the Mediterranean world: cereals, oil and wine, when a denarius represented a day’s wages for a labourer.
The G8 summit was held a year before the financial crash of 2008 which plunged the world into the crisis we are still living through today. In this global economic context, the price of foodstuffs is of vital importance and at the heart of concerns as, rather than retreating, famine is gaining ground in Africa.