One of the reason’s Busuttil’s paintings have such resonance is because their crude depictions are so apt. Her paintings are often not made in reference to a specific person, but embody a ‘character type’ embedded in our collective memories. ‘Rooi Gevaar’ is Afrikaans for ‘communist’ or ‘red threat’, and Busuttil’s soviet soldier looks very menacing indeed. Busuttil composes this canvas with a certain Cold War era flare, drawing from the tropes of movies and popular culture. The 60s design colours and authority figure posing are synonymous with outdated ideology. Rendered in conflicting tones of green and red, her painting is the embodiment of tension; its figure, teeth bared and face daubed on in near-boiling-point pink, looks as if he’s ready to explode.

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