Saturday, May 14, 2011

Erasing the Image of Osama Bin Laden

The cover of the May 16, 2011 issue of The New Yorker features a cartoon by Gürbüz Doğan Ekşioğlu in which the image of recently killed terrorist Osama Bin Laden is erased. Titled “Rubbed Out,” the painting depicts the freshly erased face of Bin Laden with the well-used pink rubber eraser laid carelessly on top (detail shown above). Now that it is almost definite that the photos of the dead Bin Laden will not be shown to the public any time soon, this may be the closest, and most poignant, thing. Ekşioğlu’s cartoon made me think back to Robert Rauschenberg’s famous 1953 work, Erased de Kooning Drawing, which lived up to its title in every way. Looking back on Rauschenberg’s thinking may hold some answers for what this new image may hold for the legacy of Bin Laden and the War on Terror. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Erasing the Image of Osama Bin Laden."

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