Friday, April 2, 2010

Massacre in Korea

The post about my father the soldier got me thinking about the Korean War – which was going on when I was born but which I wasn't old enough to remember. While poking around on the internet I discovered an anti-American propaganda painting (unknown to me up till today) made by Picasso in that same fateful year of 1951 when the black & white photograph (shown yesterday) was taken.

Pablo Picasso
Massacre in Korea

Picasso did not attempt to conceal the derivation of his work. As often, he painted an homage to one of the great painters of the past (whom he regarded as his peers). Immediately below are the two most obvious antecedents.

Francisco Goya
The Third of May

Edouard Manet
Execution of Emperor Maximilian

Further homages to Goya's masterpiece of documentary barbarism in uniform continue to appear. A few recent ones are shown below – though I do not believe that artists can ever hope to keep up with the ongoing state-sponsored crimes that human history unflaggingly delights in.

Yasumasa Morimura
Brothers (Slaughter I)

Yue Minjun

Ju Duoqui
The Vegetable Museum 04