“Unseen Deeds: Invisibility and the Home Mortgage Crisis”


“Unseen Deeds: Invisibility and the Home Mortgage Crisis” oil on canvas, 36hx36w

This is my allegorical rendition of the home mortgage crisis of 2008. The five year anniversary just passed in September.

“Selfishness and greed, individual or national, cause most of our troubles.”
― Harry S. Truman

The Invisible Man” by HG Wells’, and Hans Christian Anderson’s emperor from “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, are the subjects in the painting. These two characters from literature are known for invisible or unseen things. By choosing the “invisible” theme, I am referencing the many people involved in the cause of the crisis. These deeds involved people losing the deeds to their house, thus the play on words in the title. Technical note: The figure of the emperor was taken from a figure drawing I had. The invisible man was pieced together using reference photos from the old black and white movie, white gloves and draping a model in a smoking jacket type material.


The house over the fireplace is taken from “American Gothic”, Grant Wood’s iconic portrait painting. The pitchfork-like candelabra is a tribute to the missing owners. Unlike the original, a storm is brewing. Under the painting of the house is a bowl of rotten apples.


Notice the inkwell and loan documents. The loans in this painting are written with special ink. It is written in French on the inkwell. The emperor is sitting near the fire and his violin is nearby as well.  Yes, I am combining two emperor stories. On the floor are the already fading loan documents.


The invisible man is performing magic coin tricks. His book of magic tricks is on the floor with the unraveling ball of yarn. The yarn makes a familiar descending red line when it crosses the white paper. There is something playing with the end of the yarn. Hint #1:  It was the invisible man’s first experiment in HG Wells’ book.  Hint #2: It is fat and enjoys drinking cream.


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