Captured is a book with an incendiary premise: people in prison draw and paint people who they think should be in prison. The twist is that a lot of these artists are pretty good, although sometimes the allegedly criminal CEO of a corporation comes out looking like a warped monster. Then again, perhaps that’s intentional.
The folks behind Captured, Jeff Greenspan and Andrew Tider, created the book to “shine a light on […] crimes masquerading as commerce,” and to draw attention to crimes allegedly committed by corporations. Crimes that would bring to cops down on an individual in no time.
“Corporations frequently commit crimes any average person would be imprisoned for,” write Greenspan and Tider. “Money, power, and political influence allow these companies, and their leaders, to not just break the rules, but make the rules. They are ‘untouchable.'”
The book’s site has a gallery of the portraits, and clicking on one brings it up full-size, along with details of the CEOs alleged crimes, or the crimes of his or her company. The artist is identified by their name and prison ID number. The subjects were chosen by the authors, not by the prisoners, and the “featured CEOs held their titles at the time the portraits were commissioned, though some have since stepped down.” The artists themselves were chosen for the similarity of their own crimes to those of the CEOs they would portray.
The process was a long and arduous one. “Most of the communication had to happen via snail mail,” Greenspan and Tider told Co.Exist, “and the artwork had to be sent to those on approved lists.”
You won’t be surprised by most of the corporations. Chevron, FIFA, BP, Walmart, Citigroup, and many more–the lineup reads like a greatest hits of corporate malfeasance. But you may not know the names behind the companies, and that’s the point: Some of these CEOs will feel pretty uncomfortable seeing themselves showcased like this, although so far “None of the CEOs have reacted yet,” Greenspan and Tider told me.