This is the question that inspired “Rich Enough to be Batman”, a print that has become a best seller. The print depicting the Queen wearing a Batman mask, provokes a pressing question about wealth and social contribution. If you had enough money would you become Batman and use your money to fight crime and protect the vulnerable? Or would you splash out on expensive things for your own pleasure?
The idea came about when reading the Sunday Times Rich List that is published annually. I’ve always questioned the purpose of this. Is it for everyone to collectively celebrate the success of the richest 100 people worldwide, or simply to rub our noses in the fact about how far behind the rest of us are from having such wealth.
These days, it seems you can’t open a newspaper or turn on a TV without being bombarded by news involving exploitation of wealth. In recent weeks, the headlines have been dominated by the collapse of BHS and how Phillip Green (net worth £3.6Bn) has been accused to ciphering money out before its collapse. And about how Mike Ashley (net worth US$6Bn) has been refusing to pay his staff minimum wage while he goes on spending sprees buying mansion, super yachts and jet planes.
Of course not all billionaires are self-serving - Bill and Melinda Gates (net wealth US$78.5) are well know for their philanthropy and good deeds. Mark Zuckerberg and his wife recently announced they would give the majority of their wealth over the course of their lives to "advancing human potential and promoting equality".
In a world where wealth is become concentrated into the hands of a ultra rich elite though, the question remains: how rich do you need to be before you become Batman?
See the full Rich Enough to be Batman collection here.