William Copley’s Truth in Flagvertising

THE DAILY PIC: In 'Animal Farm' at the Brant Foundation, William Copley imagines France choosing bottles as its national symbol.

THE DAILY PIC (#1791): Nationalism is on the rise in England, France, Austria, Greece, the Netherlands and, especially, the U.S., and it seems as though no one remembers how much death and disaster national identity has launched in the past. With that so much in mind these days, it was a pleasure to come across a couple of faux-flags by William Copley in the “Animal Farm” show that just opened at the Brant Foundation in Greenwich, Conn. They were from a set of 10 made for the 1972 Documenta show, at a time when, for one brief moment, nationalism had lost some of its luster. It made sense to poke fun at it by imagining flags that stood for national vices instead of virtues. It’s not as easy to poke such fun now, when “patriots” are wreaking havoc worldwide. (Image courtesy William N. Copley Estate; photo courtesy Kewenig Galerie)


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