This is an ongoing series of portraits for an upcoming show the Fall of 2022. Each is painted on corrugated boxes destined for the trash - a fitting canvas for despots, autocrats, blowhards, sleazeballs, and losers destined for the trash bin of history themselves. Check process videos of these on my YouTube channel — and please subscribe to see future portraits.

Artist Statement

The corrugated box has become a symbol of capitalism in the internet age, even more so during the pandemic when so many of us opted to have any and everything delivered to our homes instead of risking our lives going out to shop. We receive boxes full of other boxes. Our recycle bins are full of the detritus of our capitalistic culture. With each purchase our consumer profile gets better defined by the algorithms, so they can anticipate our needs before we even know we had them. 


At the same time, we are bombarded by the presence of the insatiable 24/7 news cycle. Whether knowingly or not, we are all consumers of news generated to get the more and more “eyeballs” needed to drive revenue and increase the power and influence of the content provider. 

The history of the world is littered with figures driven by their racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, greedy, power-hungry agendas who have trashed cultures and civilizations since men “evolved” from being hunters and gathers. In our current milieu, we are surrounded by countless “leaders” such as these who are hellbent on recycling the atrocities of the past. They live in a black and white frame of mind and want to return us to the black and white time of the past. It is hard to avoid them, as they seem to be everywhere and multiplying like the boxes on the doorsteps of our homes. It is hard to escape their insatiable need for power, their bombastic lies, and their aggression against humanity.

Unlike your discarded boxes, which can be recycled for good, these dictators, despots, autocrats, liars, cheaters, and losers will be tossed into the trash bin of history.

-Paul Kroner