Juxtaposing multiple versions of the phrase “We are now all anything” is an easy and effective way of exposing not just the arrogance of the people in charge, but the fundamental lunacy of imagining it’s possible to impose any kind of unity on the world. But it’s also just funny. What’s most fascinating about Mr. McGill’s attempt to reckon with complexity is that, like the drawings in Danzig Baldaev’s Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopedia or an R. Crumb cartoon, it creates such a complete and satisfying whole. The facts, figures and damning quotations should fill the viewer with rage, but the facts and figures are broadly familiar, while the range of typefaces that Mr. McGill presents them in and his judiciously delicate variation of black, whites and grays offer immediate, unavoidable pleasure.
You begin with an honest intention to look unflinchingly and portray things as they are, but you find that you can draw nothing but the drawing, and the drawing is good. Mr. McGill’s rendition of a vampire squid (Matt Taibbi’s 2010 metaphor for Goldman Sachs) is especially lovely.
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