The Oliver Powell and Timely Investments Trust Collection

Live Virtual Auction, 20 September 2022

The Oliver Powell and Timely Investments Trust Collection
About the Session

Strauss & Co is pleased to present this extraordinary collection as the featured session this September Live Virtual Auction. An established insolvency practitioner with a passion for the arts, Oliver Powell's principal focus has been collecting South African painting, sculpture and works on paper made since 1950. Colour, graphic ingenuity and emotional weight are all attributes in an artwork that Powell is drawn to. Powell also emphasises the importance of his many encounters with artists. “There is so much value in meeting an artist,” says Powell. “Aspects and details of their life are reflected in what and how they paint.”


  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven
  • Warrick Kemp; The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven


Lot Estimate
ZAR 250 000 - 350 000

About this Item

South African 1968 -
The Pigs are Coming Series, eleven

each signed with the artist's initials, editioned 2/6 and stamped with the Sculpture Casting Service foundry mark

bronze on a fixed marble base
largest height: 78cm; smallest height: 39cm

Notes

An exhibition catalogue and 7 glass plinths accompany the lot.

"During the 1990s I became intrigued with the media coverage on the Israel-Palestine situation; there was clear support and empathy towards the Israelis, whilst simple and honest questions were seldom asked about the plight of Palestinians; their actions dismissed as those of fanatics.

What I found fascinating was the fact that this propaganda and misinformation was not spread by Israel alone, but also by the two Western super powers and their corporate media.

For me, this began a process of re-visiting history and investigating the ethics behind government policy; in particular the policies that benefit big business.

This body of work represents a satirical view of the incestuous relationship between government, business and our free market system. It comments on how this relationship promotes a system of power versus powerlessness. The focus of this series of bronzes is on the co-dependency of governments and their multi-national corporations, and how foreign policies are used to benefit both. It highlights how the powerful countries dismiss international law at the expense of global security, and how we have come to accept it.

Contemporary society’s addiction to consumption, ideologies like nationalism, and an unquestioning view of authority and cultural heritage are woven into the collective psyche from childhood. This conditions a ‘free’ and ‘democratic’ public to be more easily guided.

Between 1910 and 1930, the United Kingdom and United States formulated groundbreaking methods of using propaganda for civilian control. Utilising government intelligence, combined with corporate public relations and advertising, complex ethical issues could easily be swept aside. The principles of persuasion were used in new ways with the introduction of mass media. Radio, cinema, and television news allowed propaganda to reach an ever-larger portion of the population, orchestrating public consent with greater speed and efficiency.

With the growth of media corporations like Fox news in the 1990s, a delivery system was created to weave opinion and news together in a more entertaining and creative way, manipulating the truth and presenting a distorted view of history.

After the attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001, and the following US invasion of Afghanistan, the US began accusing Iraq of being a possible terrorist threat and housing ‘weapons of mass destruction’. With an abundance of accurate facts and evidence available, it should never have been possible for the US to rally up enough domestic support for a second invasion of Iraq. However, the media broom ‘swept clean’, the religious right were engaged and the US government found new ways to exploit the next generation of frightened Americans. Against international law, and with world condemnation, the US government, once again, carved the path which allowed big business to have its way.

Each sculpture in this exhibition represents an aspect of our current world order; a system fueled by power, greed and coercion. This series reflects a world in which inequality is accepted, consumption is lauded and justice has little meaning." - Warrick Kemp, October 2009

Capitalise
height: 39 cm

"The opportunist, investment banker or moneylender feels safe in the knowledge that he is too big to fail and too big to go to jail."

Captain of Industry
height: 67 cm

"The ‘Robber Baron’ dances recklessly upon the wheels of industry, confident that we will be blinded by spin and lulled into apathy, locked into this system of exploitation for capital gain."

Yankee Doodle
height: 76 cm

"With a cowboy attitude, the oil industry joins the corporatocracy to exploit the international market. Participating governments, under the guise of security, both physical and financial, sanction the desired coercive actions and invasions."

Cooking the News
height: 77 cm

"The use of our ‘free press’ as a tool for propaganda and manipulation. Edward Bernays, known as the father of public relations, began work for the Committee on Public Information during WWI. He was commissioned by Woodrow Wilson to sway American public opinion towards war. He described ‘The Engineering of Consent’ in his 1947 essay of the same title, as a crucial component of business and government; a key component of a system of power and powerlessness. Bernays, a nephew of Sigmund Freud, drew on his uncle’s theories on psychoanalysis to justify his beliefs on the manipulation of the general public."

Between a Bullet and a Target
height: 57 cm

"Uncle Sam runs as the ‘fast bullets fly’ - a phrase coined by Bob Dylan in his 1963 song entitled ‘Masters of War’. After entering the Korean War in 1950, the US has continuously been at war, with one country or another, for the past 59 years. The United States of America continues to put itself in a precarious position through its ‘War on Terror’, first introduced by Regan in 1981. Illustrated by its biased position on Israel; imposing its foreign economic system in Chile in the 1970s; supporting or installing oppressive regimes or dictators, like Castelo Branco in Brazil in 1964, and Saddam Hussein in Iraq in the 1980s; and most recently, by the invasion and occupation of Iraq. US policy has dictated the ‘imperative of military supremacy, maintained in perpetuity and projected globally.’ The US, that is the state and not its people, knowingly walk this tight-rope in order to secure natural resources, impose their economic ideologies and develop strategic allies. The New York Times, on 10 April 2003, reported that after the attacks in the US on September 11, 2001, Vice President Cheney, Mr. Rumsfeld, and Condoleezza Rice, pressed President Bush to make key refinements to the National Security Strategy - it was left to Ms. Rice to compose the new strategy. ‘The National Security Strategy of the United States’ published in mid-September, 2002, used the ‘War on Terror’ to justify the invasion of Iraq. The US declared the right to undertake unprovoked ‘preventive war’ at will, as opposed to taking pre-emptive action. Washington made it clear that it intends to do all it can to maintain its pre-eminence, then announced that it would ignore the UN Security Council over Iraq and declared more broadly that it would no longer be bound by the [UN] Charter’s rules governing the use of force. QED. Accordingly, the rules have collapsed and the entire edifice came crashing down. This, Glennon concludes, is a good thing, since the US is the leader of the enlightened states and therefore must resist any effort to curb its use of force.’ During the 1990s, commercial news networks invested heavily in primetime shows to sway public opinion. Some American news networks have incorporated the US flag in their broadcasts with the phrase, ‘Fair and balanced’, branded across the screen, adding a tinge of red, white and blue to their view."

Capital Crusades
height: 70 cm

"When the leader of a sovereign state refuses to become a puppet for a foreign government or corporation, regime change is often engineered. Evidence of this has been the replacement of Mossadegh by the Shah in Iran in 1953, Sukarno by Suharto in Indonesia in 1970, and Allende by Pinochet in Chile in 1973. All these coups were engineered and supported by the US and/or the UK governments. The common thread is the active support of a dictatorship or oligarchy that pursues privatization of its state enterprises and natural resources, and opens its borders to big business and foreign governments at the expense of its population. Such actions are often sanctioned by the aggressor’s civilian population, whipped up by propaganda and spin, but usually benefit only a small ruling class in the target country. George Kennan, head of the US State Departments Policy Planning staff between 1947 and 1949, is quoted in Derrick Jensen’s End Game (2006 p. 76) as saying that ‘if we are to maintain a position of disparity over those whose resources we must take, we should cease to talk about vague and… unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratisation, and instead should deal in straight power concepts, not hampered by idealistic slogans about altruism and world-benefaction.’ Noam Chomsky, in Hegemony or Survival (2003 p. 34), writes, ‘George Kennan, in this case, briefing US ambassadors to Latin America on the need to be guided by a pragmatic concern for the protection of our raw materials, ours, wherever they happen to be located, to which we must preserve our inherent right of access.’ These actions are initiated under various guises; the fight against Communism, terrorism - anything to scare the population into believing that intervention in the affairs and leadership of a sovereign state is required and justified. Highly decorated US Major General Smedley Butler carried out many ‘Capital Crusades’: ‘I spent 33 years and 4 months in active service as a member of our country’s most agile military force - the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from a second lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism.’ Butler wrote in Time of Peace, an article in Common Sense magazine, November 1935, pp 8-12."

Swingers
height: 61,5 cm

"John Dewey said in 1931, ‘As long as politics is the shadow cast on society by big business, the attenuation of the shadow will not change the substance.’ The ‘revolving door’ practice, where big business is in bed with government, promotes greater rights to a select few. State officials leave government to lobby on the side of corporations that seek lucrative state contracts. In turn, corporate executives move into politics to attain positions of influence over government. On 21 January, 2009, US President Barrack Obama signed into law a ‘revolving door ban’ to combat the practice of lobbyists entering government and government officials leaving to become lobbyists."

House of Cards
height: 78 cm

"The business of debt, and the ascendancy of financial considerations in national policymaking. In the US, financial services overtook manufacturing as the largest sector of the economy in the 1990’s. Hedge funds and securitization created a financial system that allowed the selling, repackaging, and reselling of ‘toxic’ debt. This unsustainable practice, inspired by greed, grew like a pyramid scheme; the true value of these investments was determined by some doubtful assets and structures, making it almost impossible to equate."

Spinning Pig Tales
height: 71,5 cm

"Envisage a blinded public with flags over their eyes. In 2002, the US government started to behave, as political analyst Anatol Lieven puts it, ‘an endangered right-wing oligarchy which is to divert mass discontent into nationalism’. The use of nationalism has been very effective in the coercion and management of civilian populations in countries as diverse as Germany, South Africa, the Soviet Union and the United States of America. Walter Lippmann, the writer, journalist and political commentator, played an integral part, along with Edward Bernays in the U.S Committee on Public Information during WWI, in selling the war to the American people. The CPI became a powerful propaganda machine during WWI - its marketing strategies, which involved nationalism, were used to sell future US wars to the American public. Lippmann found the civilian population ‘ignorant’, ‘usually irrelevant’ and unable to see the complete vision of government. He felt that ‘Only the insider can make decisions’, and found public involvement ‘meddlesome’. Lippmann referred to the public as, ‘the bewildered herd’, and felt that it ‘must be put in its place’. ‘The responsible men’, who are the proper decision-makers, must tame and manage ‘the bewildered herd’, and this could be done through the new revolution in the art of democracy; the ‘manufacture of consent’."

Intentional Ignorance
height: 35,5 cm

"The masters of our world have produced an amnesiac society; a population detached from the realities of this world. History is engineered to make the truth unknown; when the public accepts this, the government, or the ‘men of best quality’, can intervene in world affairs to their benefit and call it ‘noble intent’. Illegal attacks on sovereign states have become an accepted practise; examples are the 1981 bombing of the Osirak reactor in Iraq by Israel, and the retaking of Panama in 1989 under US president, George H.W. Bush, in ‘Operation Just Cause’. After such action, a ‘new norm’ of international law is established. A ‘justified’ reason then needs to be fed to the public; this is easily effected by misinformation, supported by media networks that package opinions and deliver them like prime time ‘reality shows’."

Consumed
height: 43,5 cm

"The conspicuous consumption of valuable goods is a means of reputability to the gentleman of leisure.’ Thorstein Bunde Veblen herewith defines our base need as nothing more than to attain and display a higher social status than others. Victor Lebow, a 20th century economist and retail analyst, defines modern consumption, in the 1955 Spring issue of the Journal of Retailing, as follows: ‘Our enormously productive economy demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfactions, our ego satisfactions, in consumption. The measure of social status, of social acceptance, of prestige, is now to be found in our consumptive patterns.’ Popular media and entertainment, directed at our base needs, are utilised to occupy the public consciousness. The aim is to keep us distracted from the reality of our world, as we become concerned with only the narrow desires of our addictive consumerism. Preoccupied with material needs to gain fulfilment and social status, we are inevitably left unsatisfied, continuously feeding at the trough of ‘conspicuous consumption’."

1Warrick Kemp in Johans Borman Fine Art Gallery (2010) The Pigs are Coming, exhibition catalogue, Cape Town: Johans Borman, each illustrated in colour (unpaginated).

Provenance

Johans Borman Fine Art Gallery, Cape Town, 12 February 2010.

The Oliver Powell and Timely Investments Trust Collection.

Exhibited

Johans Borman Fine Art Gallery, Cape Town, The Pigs are Coming - A solo exhibition of bronze sculptures by Warrick Kemp, 28 November 2009 to 16 January 2010.

Literature

Johans Borman Fine Art Gallery (2010) The Pigs are Coming, exhibition catalogue, Cape Town: Johans Borman, each illustrated in colour (unpaginated).

View all Warrick Kemp lots for sale in this auction



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