Yasser Arafat Pop portrait, by Pete Kirill. Review by Isabel del Rio

Yasser Arafat Pop portrait, by Pete Kirill. Review by Isabel del Rio
Isabel del Rio

Yasser Arafat is now MC Arafats, a new Pop painting by Pete Kirill

Yasser Arafat is now MC Arafats, portrait by Pete Kirill

Yasser Arafat is now MC Arafats, portrait by Pete Kirill

The artist Pete Kirill has painted Yasser Arafat as a west coast gangster rapper. More specifically, he is depicted as Snoop Dog.

Review by Isabel del Rio

It’s difficult to get into the History but once you are in people’s common memory, it’s difficult to be erased. Sadly, we have too many politicians in the books of History and few poets or saints. It’s disappointing to see our teenagers reading about the ‘fantastic’ wars of Julius Caesar against the Gauls that, in fact, involved many deaths. I prefer when they read about Julius Caesar in love with Cleopatra. Of course, he is the same person but better to imagine him as a man in love and not as another gray warrior.

Pete Kirill is a neo Pop artist well known by Yareah magazine readers since we have reviewed very many of his works. He is portraying famous dictators around the world but trying to humanize them: ‘The Dictator Hall of Fame’. Then, he is painting different portraits where dictators or world leaders pose artistically as Pop singers or as basketball stars: Fidel Castro, Kim Jong-il, Chavez, Gaddafi, Assad… a world of political intrigue which can be turned into a funny Hall of Fame if we don’t lose the ability to laugh. Yes, we can humanize politics if we are not terrorized by it.

Now, Palestine leader Yasser Arafat has been painted by Pete Kirill. Yes, two times famous Yasser Arafat, famous in life and famous after his problematic death and disinterment last week for examination. But now, he is MC Arafats.

MC Arafats is doing the west coast hip hop gang sign with his hand, symbol of the hip-hop culture. MC Arafats lives in front of a yellow background and has Western glasses and wristwatch. But MC Arafats is not only a Western man, he dresses with Oriental clothes. Once again, Pete Kirill makes parallelism between both sides of a mirror, a broken mirror here and there, a complicate labyrinth… Sometimes, even after being dead.

Pete Kirill’s neo-Pop paintings highlight the parallels between dictator worship and celebrity idolization, between lies and truths, between reality and fantasies in every corner of this world. His artwork forces us to think. Enjoy it!

Other Portraits by Pete Kirill:

by Pete Kirill

by Pete Kirill

by Pete Kirill


More about Pete Kirill:


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