The Blame Game

Dan Alvarado

+15 Window Exhibition
March 1 to April 30, 2010

A series of serigraph prints on target sheets, depicting perpetrators of recent financial malfeasance.

Over the past couple of years, a protracted global economic meltdown showed us not only what could have been if the American house of cards had completely collapsed; it also exposed the bad side of Wall Street. Massive “Ponzi schemes” were perpetrated by men like Bernie Madoff and Sir Allen Stanford, and corporate CEOs burnt through government bail-out money only to hand out million dollar bonuses to themselves or underwrite renovations to their offices.

Today, the American government is still trying to fix and rebalance global markets, in order to prevent any further financial collapse that could leave millions more unemployed and a nation mired in deep recession. But there hasn’t much positive progress yet and many wonder, how can this be? How is it that the current US administration cannot figure out this entire complicated financial puzzle? For many, it is frustrating and irritating to see one nation’s slow progress not only affect its own citizens, but other countries’ progress as well. Personally I defend the efforts of the current Obama administration. And place the onus for the recent global economic collapse on many Wall Street white-collar workers and former government officials. Thanks to their actions, the 2008 stock market crash on Wall Street started a domino effect that has affected countries all over the globe.

Based on the Time Magazine article “25 People to Blame for the Economic Crisis” (February 13, 2009), I compiled The Blame Game, a series of target prints of every person mentioned in the article. For some extra ‘fun’, I also added the faces of those that have recently come to personify America’s insatiable corporate greed (Joe Cassano from AIG, Sir Allen Stanford and Jonathan A. Thaim), as well as those who I feel are impeding the improvement of the American economy and any positive steps to a better nature, such as commentators Rush Limbaugh and Anne Coulter. In return, I encourage people to throw darts at and damage these prints. Why? Because I believe that almost everyone can experience some sense of catharsis from throwing a dart at a greedy man’s face. This is my gift to you, the people.


I was born in New York City and raised in a suburban area in Middletown, New Jersey. I remember drawing ‘lollipop’ portraits and baseball cards when I was a young kid but I never grew much of an interest in art until my high school years. At that time, I actually learned how to apply paint on a canvas and improved my drawing technique. After taking art courses through most of high school, I decided to pursue my passion at James Madison University in 2004. I earned a BFA in General Fine Arts Emphasis (painting concentration) in May 2008.

It was during my years at James Madison that I really grew up with not only my technique, but also my conceptual perspective on art. I developed a keen interest in political art and the impact that it had towards the public media. From here, I decided to focus my work on political satire. From works depicting the clash between European and American cultures to the downfall of MTV, I thought controversy and good humour can satisfy the audience, as well as start a heated discussion. I still create political satire. But I also know that I am still growing up and expanding my creativity. I believe all artists grow from one style of art to another. And I find new interests and influences wherever I go. Maybe sooner or later, I may just quit on this whole political art ordeal. But for now, I like to sit back and enjoy the ride while the audience reacts in whatever direction it desires.

I have shown my work in several group exhibitions around the US and in Italy, and my work is featured in the Newark Library collection in Newark, NJ. I currently reside in Brooklyn, NY.