A Great Leap Backward

The New Republic

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THE PLANK JULY 8, 2008

A Great Leap Backward

 

 

A new wave of young Chinese artists are projecting Chairman
Mao's gruesome legacy through the soft-focus lens of kitsch. Sadly, though
unsurprisingly, this whitewashed, "Everybody Loves Mao!" approach is proving
wildly popular among America's
nouveau billionaire art collectors.

Weighing in on this
flip-is-the-new-reflective trend, TNR's resident art critic Jed Perl argues
that the paintings are little more than "expensive propaganda"  that fall
neatly in line with "the current Chinese regime's efforts to sell itself as the
authoritarian power that everybody can learn to love...This is radical chic with
blood on its hands."  Perl points out that not only are these paintings
willfully apologist, they're also, aesthetically speaking, not good. For your viewing
pleasure, a slideshow showcasing this baffling and expensive trend.

--Bess Kalb

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