Joanne Tod achieved widespread recognition in the 1980s for her large-scale figurative works that tackled issues of racism, gender and commodification. A Diamond is Forever is an example of Tod’s appropriation of an image from popular advertising. By changing the race of the couple in her version (from white to black), she creates new meanings and challenges assumptions about class and the naturalization of privilege. The deliberate realism of her painting makes the ambiguous content particularly destabilizing. In using her work as a tool for awareness and change, Tod has been unapologetically confrontational and controversial. In other series, she turned her attention to the art world itself, drawing attention to the relationships and alliances between artists, institutions and the corporate sphere.Tod was born in Montreal and studied at the Ontario College of Art (1974). She teaches part-time in the Visual Studies Department at the University of Toronto.