Regina Foster - Art and Inequality Series

Art and Inequality

What is the measure for happiness? What makes people happy? It is poverty more than a lack of money?  How do we measure well-being, individually and collectively?

A Reflection of Happiness

I’ve have spent many years considering the nature of happiness in a material and spiritual world.

There are so many ways for an artist to represent pain, sadness and depravation. How would one capture happiness? We have clinical depression, tangible poverty, and absolute destruction. Our worst impulses are codified. What about happiness? How do we arrive at it? Measure it?

My latest work has been influenced by James Foster, Professor of Economics at the Elliot School of international affairs in Washington DC, and his research that focuses on welfare economics — using economic tools to evaluate the well being of people.

James’s work has helped me realize that there is a possibility that we can make a difference through defining those very depravations that keep us from pursuing happiness, our God given right.


My work is not designed to be challenging, but rather encouraging. I want people to feel their happiness while they think about how happiness manifests in our culture.

I use symbols that are simple conventions – roses for love, birds for freedom and Buddha for serenity – and combine them in ways that are meant to evoke joy.

What I want to get to is something both universal and personal. Symbolic and literal. But above all – beautiful.
– Regina Foster