I look at this Tate Modern painting long enough to see it come alive. It is a dragon opening its mouth and lunging towards me. Blank evil eyes look at me and spiders crawl over the canvas, spinning their web of deceit and greed and ever expanding their network. Dollar notes and poison float in the lake of black oil that fills the canvas and drowns the victim in the middle of the painting, behind the bars of the dragon’s teeth. The victim knows he is stuck and does no longer try to get out. He accepts his fate with sadness and reaches for the dollar note instead. White lines scar the surface of the painting and show all its faults, yet also the failed attempts of people to get out.
Does this show the true nature of the system we live in? Or is it a warning not to fall in the trappings of wealth, jealousy and societal pressure? This painting shows money should be used as a means to an end, not as the end itself. Money should be a catalyser for visionary ideas, for art and literature, for the improvement and perhaps survival of everyone on the blue planet. The Western world is driven by a glass window of ethics that is broken with every stone thrown at it, and it is taking over the world. In class, teachers talk about the potential for companies of the three billion new middle class consumers, rather than how those companies could tackle overpopulation, or how they could find new ways to use resources efficiently. I do not consider these challenges unsurmountable, but I miss a sense of vigour in the global leaders and in global companies to tackle and solve them. However, I believe we can find and gather enthusiasm and vigour through social media. Since I strongly believe improving the world and resolving its challenges would start with improving yourself, I will post a daily tweet from today onwards about how I improved myself, someone else, or the world. Step by step, #IImprove.