Marie Koo

Shot an Elephant in Pajamas

Oil on canvas 38" x 60" (2015)
Between Law and Justice, there are lots for wiggle room for fun and games. This is my response to the death of Eric Garner and the subsequent non-indictment of the police officers. The legal system can be as arbitrary as a game of snakes and ladders; legal language can be as vague and absurd as the title of this painting (a Groucho Marx quote). Also, I have long been obsessed with poor old Topsy – a female elephant deemed “bad” and publicly electrocuted in Coney Island’s Luna Park, 1903. Her death, was also captured on film. The electrocution was filmed and released to be view via coin-operated kinetoscopes. The park went into bankruptcy in 1912 and was completely destroyed in a fire in 1944, I think of this as “The Curse of Topsy Saga” a series of paintings waiting to happen.

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