Oil on canvas, 76cm x 101cm (June 2015)
O Yemi : "Wherever crimes against humanity have been committed around the world, the fingerprints of these two world super powers can usually be detected. Since world war II, the USA and Russia have engaged in a battle of supremacy; too scared of each other’s shadows, they are using other nations to fight each other in ‘proxy wars’. They broke Germany into East and West Germany before Germany reunified. They used the Vietnam War to get north and south fighting each other, and broke up Korea into North Korea and South Korea. America led the war against Iraq in a chase for the elusive weapons of mass destruction (which did not exist) and gave birth to the ruinous and evil Islamic State. Russia gives the Syrian President, Bashar Al-Assad a licence-to-kill by stopping the UN from taking action against the Syrian leader for his action of genocide against his own people. The West, led by America enticed Ukraine with the offer of financial aid and Russia will not give up Ukraine to the West without a fight. This has led to ongoing war in Ukraine which inspired me to do this painting “Ukraine-The Unfortunate Bride”
I chose the image of the Ukrainian politician Yulia Tymoshenko to represent the country of Ukraine and dressed her up as the Ukrainian Bride between two warring suitors – President Obama and President Putin. On the left of the painting, President Obama is kneeling and proposing to Ukraine, with an engagement ring in his right hand while holding Yulia (Ukraine) hand with his left hand. The left arm of Yulia is ripped off from her body by Putin. The ripped off arm is Crimea and other parts of Ukraine that were broken away by Pro-Russian Separatists with the help of Russia. I put an arm band of the old USSR on Putin’s arm to reveal Putin’s mindset, which is to regain the ‘lost glory’ of the old USSR by taking back all the countries that used to be Soviet Socialist Republics under the USSR.
In the middle ground of the painting are the powerless UN officials that could do nothing other than shooting “mouth missiles” and “rhetoric rockets” to Russia for tearing apart Ukraine - while the people of Ukraine were being slaughtered. To have peace in the world, America and Russia have to stop meddling in other countries affairs."