Back to All Events


  • CAROLYN KRAMER GALLERY 167 Commercial St. Provincetown, MA (map)

AUGUST 24TH - AUGUST 30, 2018


Over the last few years, I have explored the concept of money through my artwork. Although I have touched on many subjects, I have so far missed the most important- dark money. Dark money is what drives our government and society. It’s what creates and kills laws, alters what’s portrayed in the media, and what elects our politicians. Most elections and ballot referendums can be predicted by which campaign has more money behind it.

With the passing of Supreme Court decisions, starting with Buckley v. Valeo to the most recent Citizens United, buying results is essentially the standard method of governing. This stacked deck is more than enough to make us feel that the system is rigged. One person, one vote no longer stands. People can take to the streets, start hashtag campaigns, and vote but nothing will come of it. The military industrial complex will shut down any protest. Social media crusades are only effective on diseases and creeps. Votes are useless when money controls our politicians, not to mention the fact that many votes literally don’t count with gerrymandering and the Electoral College.

Tess Barbato Dark Money 2, 2018 Oil on canvas 40x36"

As a millennial, the system that once had promise is now beyond troubling. The fact that the majority of people want gun control and our politicians have done absolutely nothing about it is proof of the effectiveness of dark money. The CDC isn’t, at a minimum, provided funds to study gun deaths or guns as a pubic health issue. Despite the hard evidence of other countries and their forward thinking regulations and proven results, American elected officials do nothing but send thoughts and prayers, which have been scientifically proven ineffective and are just nice sound bytes. The reasoning behind this is painfully clear, which is there’s no money to be spent or gained in regulation.

There’s an inconceivably long list of such examples, most notably climate change and healthcare. All of these subjects have obvious solutions, but they are thwarted by dark money. America has turned away from following science and common sense. Greed and special interests are the only things that drive policy. This has led to the systematic dumbing down of the proletariat, who routinely vote against their own interests.

I have little hope for this country on the current path we are on. We are failing in almost every aspect. There is no light to be seen at the end of this tunnel of tragedy that we find ourselves in. The concept of this series is to illuminate what has been darkened so that others can see what is truly there.

-Tess Barbato

Earlier Event: August 1
Later Event: August 31
American Emotion