The Opportunists International

In the present text I don’t intend to talk further about the distinctions between Mural and Graffiti or “Urban Fine Art” and “Street art” in general ,as they have already been discussed in some other KolahStudio articles and ofcourse in my recent book -“What is graffiti”. This is but a quick text which encompasses the reflections on this new  open-ended Art group and artist ideology which I call “The Opportunists International” ,instead of the Situationists International.

Fintan Magee, the Australian, who seems totally concerned and pleased about the subject of his paintings ,where ordinary people are being thematised ( he claims to have respect for the concrete truth of such people’s existence ) . His ordinary people are the craftsmen of the Middle Ages – the nostalgia of the craftsmanship of the Golden Ages; The nostalgia of the lost times. it is what he has painted in Iran: two craftsmen working on a Persian rug.

With such romanticism, he considers himself as a public artist; an artist who works for the public, well it is a wonder to work for the people and at the same time shake hands with the public enemies and the State. It is nice to talk about people, and paint on the walls of the very same prison which has imprisoned and enchained the masses. Magee  assumes himself to be the voice of the people, a romantic illusion though. It simply reminds me of  all the  300 hundred years of the separation between humans’ illusion about themselves and their living reality . As long as human learnt to distinguish between his individual illusions and the outside world/the public life; As long as he made somethings private, the illusions became also private.  Political parties are also acting based on such notions of distinction between presented goals and hidden intentions: Realities and illusions.  Paintings and Trompe-l’œils : When what we claim we do or even what we think we do is an illusion; it obscures our real intentions. I congratulate you Mr. Magee! Many Artists of your kind will be jealous of you. You have done it in many countries and now you have succeeded in adding Iran to this list of yours as well. Wow! Hooray!!!!  Now you have landed the ship on a new island of middle-“east India” . Set up a company then! oh, well it was already established centuries earlier.

Just a couple of years ago a reggae band from Venezuela made a music video , sponsored by the Islamic republic government. They were also high-spirited guys, messengers of Peace, like Mr.Magee,  but in another color. You guys, in my opinion, are very similar to each other and I can see you both as a part of a revolutionary Art group called the “Opportunists International” . Your group  needs no manifestations since what you practice is already the manifestation of  your thoughts: Turning each situation to an Opportunity, making news out of the adventures and obtaining social statue out of the news and finaly making money out of the social statue. Who is deluded? The public, those whom you abuse by shaking hands with their enemies, and on their names.

Fintan Magee paints on the wall while people are out on strike, workers are in extremely harsh conditions. He does not see this as a Situation but as an Opportunity: Not a situation to paint the prisoners of the Evin prison or the beaten-up workers who dared to strike.  Why he does so? what is his goal? people or his pocket? or some agency politics? He just sees it as an Opportunity to show-off his Golden Age Nostalgia of craftsmanship based on a romantic dream of the past; A popular post colonial placebo of the white men: The water to whitewash the bloody hands. He represents an abstruse, ambiguous image of a colonial nostalgia. He brings coal to Newcastle !!! what a joke!!! what a waste?  The nostalgia of a past, colonised by the present. Well this painted image in Iran, is a boring image because people are not concerned with such a matter. it is out of Context. the context is in Magee’s mind and in his instagram Followers: the white whitewashers. The only function of such an image is to be meaningless and passive in the eye of an Iranian citizen, although it looks very great and sympathetic all around the Western world. Why not to use such an Opportunity?

We,  domestically, have such artists too, the Trompe-l’œil master of Tehran walls. The big head of the Iranian  Opportunists international (OI) , Mr. Ghadyanloo is a true legend.  Middle East is in fact a fertile soil for Opportunist artists worldwide who mimic the exact gestures of  Mr.Macgee.  so he  already has hundreds of comrades here and there.

fintan Magee in Iran

fintan Magee in Iran

  • The Opportunist International works for the public .. and they do it by saying it.
  • What they do is to decorate a prison and not to support the imprisoned or abolish the prison. They can not and they do not even dare to try it.
  • The Opportunist International seizes the Opportunities and why should be otherwise?
  • The opportunist International is making money and gaining recognition out of world misery, out of each situation. They are on the lookout for exploiting every single Opportunity that arises.

After  each  bloody battle, there are people who approach each and every dead body, just to rob them of their valuables and to see what they can take from the dead people. Such people think of  their hands being clean of blood, but what they think is just and illusion:  The blood is their fuel.

Congratulations to all urban fine Artists of today, the Opportunists International.