War : Cosmo Sarson
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Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey
Oil on Camouflage Material 6’ x 4’


Inspired by Manet’s painting ‘Le fifre’ in which a young boy playing a fife symbolises the French notion of freedom, equality and brotherhood.
Instead of canvas, it is painted on to the same camouflage material that US Army uniforms are made from; sourced from a military suppliers in the USA.
This painting alludes to an incident when France criticised the invasion of Iraq and US foreign policy. It led to the widespread renaming in America of ‘French fries’ to ‘Freedom fries’ and the French were famously denounced as ‘cheese eating surrender monkeys’.


Also shown here is another painting that sought to address the issues of collateral damage. Perhaps less successful in its conception, it was heartfelt when I painted it.