Laurence Vallières and Red-Handed Mickey at Urvanity 2020

Presented by Swinton Gallery at this year’s edition of Urvanity Art Fair in Madrid, Canadian artists Laurence Vallières’ installation turned heads and made people think. Ms. Vallières is well known for her sculptures, mostly of animals in peril made out of hard cardboard. Her outdoor installation at Urvanity had a lot to say with two images that stop people in their tracks.

Laurence Vallières. Urvanity Art Fair. Madrid, March 2020. (photo © Martha Cooper)

The center stage in the outdoor area features a murdered triceratops and a triumphant Mickey Mouse astride the hapless animal with blood on his hands, possibly dining on its entrails. Art, of course, can be interpreted in so many ways, and that’s one of its inherent powers. To us, this sculpture represents the centuries of American colonialism around the world and the trail of blood and misery left behind by the conquerors. At the least its a stab at corporate power.

Or does this represent a more generalized corruption in the highest offices – with unashamed displays of nepotism and greed run amok. More literally you may think of those clueless bounty hunters who boast about their kill of the last members of species.

No matter your analysis of the art piece and what it represents to you in particular, this is a powerful socio-political critique given the mainstage at Urvanity Madrid 2020, and many will have an opportunity to see it firsthand.