Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Anti-American Art: North Korea Licks US

They may not have enough food, but North Koreans can show US imperialism just exactly how they feel about it just by mailing a letter. Two of these stamps from 1968 have pretty straight-forward propaganda messages: Upper right, a North Korean soldier plants the flag of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea right on old glory. Lower left, a Korean revolutionary forces an US soldier to cower while the US flag wilts; in the ghostly image in the background a Korean steel worker shows that building the socialist motherland is exactly the same as sticking it to Uncle Sam. This motif of a righteous revolutionary making an American cower is repeated on dozens of North Korean stamps from the 1950s through the present day. The sense of physical drama with its sweeping dynamic movement and heroic gesture is classic socialist realism. (DPRK stamp)

(click on the art to see these images larger!)

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