Adornato's 2015 RBC Canadian Painting Competition Submission

The RBC Canadian Painting Competition is an annual competition that awards 3 cash prizes to promising new artists in the early stages of their careers. The Winner and each of the two 'Honourable Mentions' receive a purchase prize of $25,000 and $15,000 respectively. These 4 submissions will be on exhibit at Railbender Gallery from May 7 to June 20. (exhibit info here)


4 Painting Submissions: (click thumbnails for info and larger pics)


Arbie Goes Rogue
- a quadriptych (that means 4 paintings that belong together) by Marc Adornato.

"I'm a terrible painter, but fortunately, so were most of the previous RBC winners. So I shouldn't have a problem winning." - Adornato


Artist Statement:

It is wonderful to see that RBC has thrown some of their spare change into the hats of a few emerging Canadian painters over the past few years. Bravo RBC for helping these kids with a fraction of their crippling student debt, all the while, manipulating artistic trends in contemporary Canadian art by celebrating and rewarding the ho-hum abstract, and ignoring other thought-provoking, subversive, or controversial art. Handing out money to a few artists really does seem to give the bank a 'super shiny good-will' glow. It almost blinds the entire Canadian arts community from any sort of critical thinking about the banks unethical business practices of outsourcing jobs, price gouging their clients, or question the pomp and circumstance around the prosaic artworks being rewarded. Hopefully, in 2015, the ‘experienced panel of jurors‘ will be less subservient to their ‘extremist capitalist stakeholders’ and actually select Canadian artwork that illuminates elements of life and culture here in Canada, and reflects the social and historical significance of our time. I do hope my fictitious and satirical painting submissions are taken seriously by the competition. I could really use the $25,000 or $15,000 to help pay off student loans, as well as pay for RBC's price gouging banking, mortgage, brokerage, and credit card fees.

More about Adornato


'Arbie Goes Rogue' series:

1. Title: "Go fuck yourself, RBC! I'm way way upset" Arbie muttered under his breath after being notified by his supervisor that his job would soon be outsourced to India through iGate, a multinational outsourcing firm. To add insult to injury, Arbie would have to train up a temporary foreign worker to do his job, before being terminated. Arbie, who was a loyal and hardworking employee and mascot of The Royal Bank of Canada, was livid. Was this seemingly heartless, greedy, extremist-Capitalist company, the same company he had been working for all these years? Where was the loyalty? The dignity? The humanity?! Was Gord Nixon, (RBC's CEO who personally received $12.7 million last year alone) a huge callous asshole? RBC said the work is being outsourced for cost savings and efficiency, all the while, making billions of dollars in record profits. Traumatized by the news, and filled with blind rage, Arbie drew up a protest sign, assembled a few Molotov cocktails, and made his way back to his workplace after closing hour.


2. Title: After the banksy closed, and certain that no one was left inside the building, Arbie lit up, and lobbed several Molotov cocktails onto the roof of his RBC branch. Like a Hindu funeral pyre, Arbie's workplace became engulfed in flames. Although his incendiary actions wouldn't get him his job back, it definitely made him feel much better.


3. Title: "I protest!" Arbie shouted out and smiled as he hoisted his sign above his head in the near empty big box store parking lot.




4. Title: Despite being unarmed, and presenting no threat to any people, several police officers surrounded Arbie and taser him repeatedly.

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Submission Q & A for RBC Painting Competition:

Describe in 5 sentences or less what motivated you to create this body of work.

In a country where the government spies on its own people, the environment is being ravaged, students are being crippled with debt, healthcare is faltering, the cost of energy is swelling, the gap between the rich and the poor widens instead of shrinks, and the bulk of jobs are being outsourced to 3rd world countries with abhorrent working standards, or simply automated, it’s baffling to me that there aren’t more artists creating subversive, critical, socially engaged artwork to reflect our troubling modern times. Canada is in need of more voices of dissent and social critique, and after seeing the 2014 RBC painting awards finalists, I felt motivated to create a body of work that would truly reflect contemporary times in Canada, rather than ignore them.

Describe in five sentences or less what is engaging about your piece(s).

I’ve painted the RBC mascot, giving RBC the finger, burning down an RBC bank, and finally he is tasered (possibly to death) by the RCMP – all this because he was upset that his job was terminated, and outsourced to India through iGate (remember how you did that to some of your employees in real life?). I then entered the paintings into your own RBC painting competition. Now, if that wasn’t the most engaging painting submissions you received, I really can't wait to see what was! The fact that Arbie seeks revenge on the mean-spirited corporate empire that unfairly ruined his life, makes us average citizens smile/laugh, relate, and engage.. something previous competition winners fail at.

In five sentences or less, provide us with any additional information you feel is important.

Critical thinking and challenging the status quo are an integral part of creating any new, innovative, or progressive contemporary art. I do hope you take my painting submissions seriously, and consider the truly positive implications my work would have on not just Canadian Art, but our country, our democracy, RBC’s ability to accept criticism, to show some humility, to improve its self-image, and the ability to laugh at itself. Having said that, you just added more fees to mortgage payments, and children's bank accounts, despite making billions in profits.. so my guess is RBC doesn't give a fuck about Canadian Art, or Canadians citizens at all.

 


NEWS: The first painting (preceding Arbie Goes Rogue quadriptych) became ineligible for submission:
Due to the publications of my first RBC painting in the national press and media, it turns out, it is ineligible to be entered into the RBC Canadian Painting Competition. So, to get around this submission technicality, I've painted another painting almost exactly the same as the first painting (but slightly better if I do say so, myself), along with several other prequels and sequels to this truly Canadian story.

title: "Arbie, a loyal and hardworking employee and mascot of The Royal Bank of Canada, sets fire to his branch in protest, after learning that his job is being outsourced through iGate, a multinational outsourcing firm from India. To add insult to injury, Arbie was asked by RBC to train his replacement before his job is terminated. RBC said the work is being outsourced for cost savings and efficiency, all the while, making billions of dollars in record profits."

Marc Adornato | Adornato.com
Ottawa, ON
2014
Acrylic on reclaimed wood, in a thrift store vintage frame.
18" x 14" inches

October 2014
'RBC Painting Competition'
'As It Happens' interview
CBC National Radio

Listen to the interview

October 2014
'RBC Painting Competition'
Ottawa Citizen/ Calgary Herald
by Peter Simpson

Read Article

October 2014
'RBC Painting Competition'
ArtNet News
by Ben Davis

Read Article

October 2014
'RBC Painting Competition'
Huffington Post
by Anonymous

Read Article

 

detail from "Arbie, a loyal and hardworking employee and mascot of The Royal Bank of Canada, sets fire to his branch in protest, after learning that his job is being outsourced through iGate, a multinational outsourcing firm from India. To add insult to injury, Arbie was asked by RBC to train his replacement before his job is terminated. RBC said the work is being outsourced for cost savings and efficiency, all the while, making billions of dollars in record profits."



Previous $25,000 Winners of the RBC Canadian Painting Competition

Click here to learn more about previous finalisits and winners of the RBC Canadian Painting Competition.

Click here to learn more about Canadian Artist Marc Adornato

2014 finalists: Ashleigh Bartlett, Carly Butler, Jennifer Carvalho, Wallis Cheung, Teto Elsiddique, Karine Fréchette, James Gardner, Ufuk Gueray, Tiziana La Melia, Nicolas Lachance, Gavin Lynch, Megan McCabe, Laura Piasta, Robert Taite, Elysanne Tremblay.