Of her politically charged paintings and drawings, the British-born artist Sue Coe has said, "My dream is that people don't discuss the work, but discuss the content." Coe, who has created editorial cartoons for the op-ed page of The New York Times, has addressed in her artwork such subjects as racism, sexism, and the mistreatment of children.
The painting Peoples Republic is part of a series of works published in Coe's 1983 book, How to Commit Suicide in South Africa. The title of the book refers to the many people murdered while in police custody in apartheid-ruled South Africa; by raising awareness about the country's oppressive regime, the artist hoped to curb American financial interests there.
Gallery label from Against the Grain: Contemporary Art from the Edward R. Broida Collection, May 3–July 10, 2006.