Sue Coe - Let Them Eat Cake, 1986, oil on canvas

Let Them Eat Cake

Accession Date:
12/20/00
Accession Number:
F-COE-1P00.41
1986
oil on canvas
70 1/2 x 55 1/8 in. (179.1 x 140 cm)

About This Artwork

Often displaying her work in newspaper editorials as well as in galleries, Sue Coe creates paintings, prints, drawings, and books that are rooted in social activism, specifically addressing the corruption inherent in the capitalist mode of consumption. The content of Coe’s work is simultaneously political and emotional, as she paints a picture of reality that spotlights injustices. Let Them Eat Cake juxtaposes a destitute, burning city with the famous phrase often attributed to Marie Antoinette, comparing the queen’s disregard for the impoverished peasants of the eighteenth century to the Reaganomics of the 1980s. The brutality presented on the canvas is palpable; red paint splatters like blood. Coe’s message is loud and clear, a warning cry against the violence we inflict upon each other through rampant inequity.