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Barbara Kruger

In this 1969 Pulitzer –Prize winning photograph by Eddie Adams, General Nguyen Ngoc Loan executes Viet Cong officer Nguyen Van Lem. The photo, and the NBC film clip, is generally regarded as a key image that launched U.S. citizens’ vehement opposition to the Vietnam war. More so than the sheer horror of the situation, we are caught off guard by its remarkable immediacy and the tension of witnessing a frozen just-before-death moment.[1]

I chose to crop to the arm, the gun and the victim’s face. Inspired by some of Barbara Kruger’s studies of faces, had I a better quality image (and more PhotoShop skills!), I would have pixilated the face more to give it more of an iconic/less realistic feel. The red line break at the executer’s wrist represents that remote possibility that the gunman “knew not what he did.”

I divided the picture in half—to depict an US against THEM motif. Again, I would have made the difference between the halves more stark had I the talent. Coming up with the slogan was easy for me. Once I zeroed in on the face, I wanted to release tension. I thought the Nike saying was perfect. This isn’t meant to be a political rail against Nike, their mistreatment of Vietnam factory workers or founder Dan Wieden’s modeling the famous slogan after death-row Gary Gilmore’s last words.[2] I simply wanted the juxtaposition of complete injustice with the utter, 20th century “war-cry” we all have been bombarded with.




One Response to “Barbara Kruger”

  1. 網頁設計 says:

    Very interesting; thank you for sharing!

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