The first time I painted this motive I was in Canada flying out to Mexico the next week. As I had to stop in the USA on transit I needed a visa and for that I had to provide a finger print scan. This got me thinking about the word ‘terrorist’, the propaganda that it carries and the loss of personal freedom when providing a scan.

This work shows fingerprints with the faces of Nelson Mandela, Osama Bin Laden and an unknown individual with the word ‘Terrorist’ written underneath.

To name someone a terrorist is very subjective. For most people, Mandela was a legend, a fighter for the ANC, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and President of South Africa, however, for the apartheid regime he most certainly was a terrorist who got locked up for decades.

For the western world Bin Laden was a terrorist but for others he was not. In Central America one could buy T-Shirts with his face, these people were not Islamists but appreciated anyone who had ‘pissed-off’ the US. The borders between ‘good’ and ‘evil’ are not clear and introducing a fingerprint scan might label an average man a terrorist.


  • 3 individual pieces
  • Hand cut stencil glued onto black colored wood panel
  • Size each piece: 40 x 61 cm
  • Unique copy of Mandela, Bin Laden, Average Joe each signed with date
  • these works will be shipped flat