June 9, 2014
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The National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago had an exhibition opening a few weeks ago on Veteran’s Day entitled “Surrealism and War,” which features the artwork of nine veterans depicting their experiences of war in somewhat surrealist ways. The exhibition really portrayed the horrors of war for both the innocent people caught in between and those who were drafted or even enlisted to fight. War is senseless, barbaric. War is sad and the poor suffer the most. The U.S. military creates a host of atrocities across the world, and then when the troops come back to their country they are met with no assistance, only the dark thoughts of their experiences, taunting them with bad memories and thoughts of death and suicide. Why?
You can read more about the exhibition here, but I will leave you with some (crappy phone camera) images of artwork that I found most intriguing and moving.
I got a bit teary staring at this wall. This is the artwork of veteran Jim Leedy.
Jim Leedy talking about his artwork behind him. He fought in the Korean War and when he returned he had nightmares every day. It was only until he created this large, ominous wall that his nightmares ended. It was his therapy. It begins on the left with images of a few animal bones here and there to depict that killing was done for survival, then moves on to show the horrors and destruction of the manmade invention of war, and then ends with something hopeful, wings, birds taking flight to show that maybe one day war won’t be so rampant, maybe there will be some semblance of peace.
a section of an Exquisite Corpse
Exquisite Corpses, each one depicting or symbolizing a specific veteran whether dead or alive
July 14, 2013
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Tomorrow I will find nothing,
Lost in shadows and darkness,
The world so holy.
Truth comes forward like heaven on a rainbow.
Clouds dissipating into unopen arms.
Torrential rainfall like none the world has ever seen.
The ground cracked and crumbling.
Fingertips grasping ledges to which they can’t even hold on.
But holding nonetheless.
The asphalt curls and rumbles,
Flattening structures like demolition without the explosion.
The people are blind.
The world is white, bricks and metal no longer an obstruction.
Destroyed or cleansed is the argument.
Building anew the goal.
And waiting for destruction yet again.
We create war. We create worlds. We destroy souls.
And we forget.
This world is not ours to keep.