The trickster is an archetype whose presence is not limited to mythology. While there will always be a shape shifter like Loki lurking around, fast-thinking humans have always had a talent for distracting onlookers in times of crisis.
Religion doesn't simply offer a set of positions to conform to; it also offers the acceptable ways in which one can transgress these positions. It tells us both how to conform and how to not conform in a conformist way.
The beauty of these paintings is that they never fall into finger pointing or polemical politics, which tend to either preach to the converted, fall on deaf ears or let the complacent, liberal, art-world viewer off the hook.
As crazy as politics seems to us these days, politics actually has its evolutionary roots in the primate use of "tactical deception," which is just as it sounds: the use of deception to manipulate your fellows into giving you what you want.