With this acrylic on canvas made by the french sculptor and painter Mathias Durand-Reynaldo, we realise that artists from all over the world have been and are still inspired by this event. As such, the impact of those people uprisings isn’t only internal but also international. Durand-Reynaldo is a committed artist who doesn’t shy away from action and often destroys his artwork when he thinks it has had impact over people. Have you ever heard about this painting presented in the Louvre gardens which was controversial ? This painting with the former French president dressed as Napoleon with a pressure hose in his hand and his wife naked, next to him ? Well, it was him !
So, we have a painting entitled “The Dream Team” : irony is already perceptible in the title. Indeed, the underlying sarcasm makes us smile because it represents the Arab Spring dictators. It is painted in black and white, and is really realistic. A poster is stuck on a wall in a street showing 7 of them, from the left to the right Mubarak (Egypt), Ahmadinejad, (Iran), Ben Ali (Tunisia), Khadafi (Libya), Abdallah Saleh (Yemen), el-Assad (Syria) and finally Al Khalifa (Bahrain). We imagine that someone came there and tagged the famous “Get out” in arabic, expression of the people’s demand to Ben Ali in Tunisia for the first time and a few days later to Mubarak in Egypt. There’s a goat under the poster, it’s an important animal in Arab-Muslims life because it is a substitute to pork and is really present everywhere, in the countryside as well as in towns. We feel the presence of the West, the presence of its consumption society, through the drink “Coca-cola” and the fast-food bag “McDonald’s”, which spread everywhere. The goat is eating the residues and serves as a garbage chute, a bleak role but real. If we look at the second part, the lef part of the work, we can see other interesting elements. At the top left is a tag : the tight fist, the demonstrators emblem. Just upon it, the word “justice” in arabic is painted in white. The people require his liberation. A bit further, a tag again, but it’s a more specific one. We notice the pharaoh’s attributes with the “Anonymous” mask in it. This is the tag of an operation they did in Egypte called “Operation Egypt”. “Anonymous” is a hacker group advocating the expression of liberty on the internet and everywhere else. Their actions are mostly organised on the internet but also in real life through masked demonstrations, etc. But let’s go back to the point ! In the last bottom left corner, the mystery surrounds the identity of the man with long and wavy hair, maybe he’s an insurgent, a demonstrator, a jihadist or even a soldier of the dictatorial regime ? Asleep, injured or dead, we don’t know either. On his right, we can see a white rose, flower symbol of peace; and on his left, a Ak-47 rifle, symbol of war. Those two elements are opposed one to the other and challenge us : Is it necessary to go to war to claim the freedom which should belong to us by right?