Ryan Cullen's X-ray paintings of concealed objects from airport security machines invoke a sense of humiliation, highlighting the humiliating nature of capitalism's "totalizing" imperative. This need to know us entirely is both necessary and impossible, and the focus is less on the objects themselves and more on our own concealment as objects. In the painting "Empire," a business person stands half-submerged in a swimming pool, representing both material and symbolic authority. Their gaze confronts the viewer, while the perspective suggests vulnerability, looking up from a submerged position. These images exist at the intersection of picture and sign/symbol, allowing for a reduction or interpretation in either direction, either towards symbolic abstraction or specific figuration.