Go to the ArtPrize mobile app.
ArtPrize has a new mobile app for 2021! Learn more here.


Daniel Robert Mattson's avatar Daniel Robert Mattson

Sideshow is a dark and surreal depiction of our current political environment. A great deal of thought went into narrating multiple symbols that intentionally provoke an already widely felt and almost unanimous opinion, regardless of party or political stand. This particular piece has haunted me for years, as I knew as a water-colorist it would have to be done in a different medium. I had to learn oil. Sideshow is riddled with symbolism like most of my work, and I'd rather the viewer discover for themselves. However, I have to disclose some. I do not believe American people are sheep, I used a symbol representing a need for both protection and guidance. Lions represent both a domestic and non-domestic threat, though the sitting lion accompanied with the closest sheep represent a biblical reference. Drones and big screen represent media, though the support beams form a crucifix. Gold chains that spiderweb represent wealth and power that dictate.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 2-D
  • Depth: 2 inches
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Width: 36 Inches
  • Year created: 2017
  • Height: 36 Inches