© 2019 NICHOLAS PAPADAKIS

EVERYTHING BUT THE MOO!

Oil on Panel

96 x 48 inches

A darkly humorous portrait of America’s love affair with industrialized beef, commissioned and inspired by the punk performance artist Adam “Quest” Eisenstat, whose magenta monochrome portrait is a cornerstone motif in the painting. Adam is represented in his undercover alias of ‘Meat Packing Plant Inspector’. Haloed by a carnival shooting gallery rotating ring of cattle, he is highlighted from the opposite corner by a menacing Bunghole Ventor’s  ray of efficiency - efficient in producing barrels of puckered anus destined for Chinese aphrodisiacal pharmacies. The Ventor ray cuts a swath across barbed wire holding pens of hungry humans and doomed cattle destined for a shared experience manifest in the mammoth, juicy hamburger backdrop.

 

Overhead, stylized images of beef culture icons suspended from silver meat hooks are conveyed past a prehistoric cave painting of ‘the hunt’ (rendered with dried, powdered blood and raw earthen pigments): Borden’s Elsie the Cow, a shotgun-peppered cattle-crossing sign steer, and the nursery rhyme cow that jumped over the moon are mechanically herded across the rolling valleys of the stars & stripes and join happy hot dogs as they frolic and leap into the conical feeder of an industrial meat grinder - their destiny dripping over vignettes of consumer beef products culminating in a slimy mound contemplated by a handsome Holstein Cow. 

 

In the foreground, a fork sharpened at both ends skewering blood rare cubes of steak in front of an overturned empty garbage can edges out and marginalizes our favorite poster child, the starving Ethiopian child; a pathetic leathery  bag of bones, standing on the wrong side of America’s white picket fence, dented food cup in hand, watches the quintessential family obliviously consuming its bovine dinner with an idyllic window view of a benign red barn and milking cow.