Only Few Can Walk On Oil
oil on canvas
201 x 306 cm
Only Few Can Walk On Oil is one in a series of seven paintings from the Seven Sisters project, which discusses the problematic related to oil industry, its impact on global politics, economy, and the environment. Dealing with the impact of visual messages transmitted to us through public media, the artist was drawn to the idea of a possible manipulation of billboard advertisement images. Each of the seven paintings acts as an advertisement board, and features logotypes of the individual corporations. The work Only Few Can Walk On Oil “advertises” the Texaco oil company, whose membership in the first Western oil industry cartel has left an important historical mark. It depicts a post-apocalyptic environment painted a toxic green. The protagonist is a female worker, painted in the manner of social realism, walking around an oil spill area with a petrol can in her hands. In the upper left-side corner there is an inscription in the form of an advertisement slogan, after which the painting was named. The slogan ironically implies a reference to the Biblical tale of Jesus walking on water, demonstrating what is in fact a supernatural power or ability, while in the context of the painting it refers to the fact that only very few people have the power to “walk on oil”, i.e. to have control over oil field ownership across the world. The fossil fuel lobbies not only destroy our environment, but exert a powerful influence over global economic affairs, and over political (im)balances in individual countries.
Uroš Weinberger (1975) studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana, Slovenia where he completed his MA degree in 2005. In 2001, he received the Prešeren Student Award of the University of Ljubljana. In 2002 he was invited to the Academy of Fine Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria. Art residences: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia in Berlin, Germany (2009), and European House of Art, Upper Bavaria-Schafhof in Freising, Germany (2013). In 2011, he was awarded at the Biennial Exhibition – A Look at Visual Arts in Slovenia 6: I, Here, Now. His painting style is diversified, and mostly figural. Rather than being categorized as belonging to a certain historically defined genre, he prefers the term contemporary figure painting. His works promote social awareness, and imply dealing with local and global problems, which affect our everyday lives. He lives and works as a independent visual artist in Novo mesto and Ljubljana.