Paintings of G20 riot police get in on the action in Cairo

Paintings of G20 riot police get in on the action in Cairo

Police in riot gear at the G20 summit in June (Image: Matthew Gray) 

With revolution breaking out on the streets of Cairo, who would have thought that Toronto’s own police force would be keeping a watchful eye on the protesters? Well, sort of. A painting of G20 cops in full riot gear, painted by Toronto-born artist Matthew Carver, is apparently overlooking the uprisings (see the painting here). The G20 canvas is one of three Carver paintings currently on display in Cairo as part of Cairo Biennale.

Prior to the demonstrations, the paintings were hanging in the Palace of the Arts, which overlooks the streets where pro-democracy protesters have clashed with police. Carver told the Globe and Mail he has no reason to believe they’ve been moved, but has not heard from art fair officials due to the lockdown on communication in Cairo. He says his dealer has warned him that he probably won’t be getting the paintings back, and that “if anyone breaks in there, knowing how Egyptians feel about the police in their society, I could see them tearing them down.” To us, this seems like art imitating life, and then life coming right back at art with an imitation of its own. Talk about meta.

Canadian artist’s riot-police paintings trapped in Cairo bedlam [Globe and Mail]