|Description:||I find the legend of the Polish Cavalry charge against the actual documented evidence of the event interesting. Within Polish culture and beyond it is usually regarded as the symbolic last stand of the old world against the new, with the new world sorrowfully obliterating the old, steel against horse flesh. In Poland it is seen as a heroic and brave last stand against inevitable concur. Yet actual records of this event suggest that Polish troops were misinformed that these were fake tanks, the kind used to scare ground troops, or used for training exercises that were actually jeeps surrounded by a wooded construction made to look like a real tank, other evidence suggests that as well as this the cavalry troops were actually initially very successful in defeating the German troops, as the German side was mostly ground troops and the tanks were only deployed later. The report of the monumental defeat of the Polish Cavalry was first recorded by a Nazi officer, who spread this false rumor to make the Polish Army seem inept against the Nazi forces in order to make their victory seem even more triumphant. With this in mind it seems inordinately strange that this has been taken on as a national moment of pride by the polish people.
The two paintings depicting this event show the effects and changes to this subject both by moments in the past and the future, alluding to an equal interaction between them all. In the Game World version I wished to portray the Polish Cavalry, not in their moment of defeat, but as a kind of ludicrous Romantic triumph. All the colors and the sky within the piece are taken from the videogame S.T.A.L.K.E.R. which is based on the 1979 Andrei Tarkovsky film Stalker , as well as Stalker, the film's subsequent novelization. The term "Stalkers" was originally used for the Russian scientists and engineers who explored the interior of Chernobyl's "sarcophagus" after its hasty construction in 1986. This connection to Russia shows not only how Poland was controlled by Communism stemming from Russia while the videogame element portrays how its past can be constructed and altered depending on the audience. The sky taken from the game still when translated to paint takes on a Romantic appearance and yet the source of the Turner like evening glow in the painting is an exploding atom bomb, an unlikely scene alongside a cavalry change and yet both are sources from WW2. It shows the kind of false heroism found in Hollywood, subtly hinting at Polandâ€™s emulation of American culture yet the atom bomb sent from America is about to wipe out everything. None of the faces of the men are distinguishable, as I wished it to remain an idea or a fantasy rather than a reality.