Sunday, September 12, 2010

Anti-American Art: Comrades

"Comrades at the battle front are waiting for us!" is the title of this painting depicted on a 1993 souvenir sheet (a kind of large collectible postage stamp) marking the "40th Anniversary of Victory in the Great Fatherland Liberation War" (what we in the U.S. call the Korean War). A young Kim Il Sung, current ruler Kim Jong Il's dad, is shown riding a tank as it crosses a river at the head of a relief column of North Korean soldiers heading to the front. The painting is clearly reminiscent of Soviet heroic art from the Great Patriotic War (what we call WWII).

Who won the Korean war? Well it was a draw, with victory claimed by both sides, and fair enough, because the North Koreans, backed by China, prevented the new American superpower from turning back the Communist tide, and the Americans, backed by a wide coalition of anti-Communist nations, drew a line in the proverbial sand. Safe to say the millions and millions of civilians in both North and South who were killed by all sides were not among the winners.

Click on the image to see it larger.

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