Sunday, September 23, 2018

Art Against The War

by Lumiere (writer), NYC, October 11, 2007


While making copies of a set of keys for my new home at a local hardware store, my eyes were seduced by a silver and red keychain that read, "Freedom is Not Free." Instantly, my mind drifted off to recapture my cousins tearful face as we celebrated her husbands going away party last week, he is a soldier being deployed to Iraq. Her tears were not just for fear of her husbands life now on the line but for the new father who would be leaving her and their infant son behind as he traveled overseas to a war that should be over by now. With thoughts spinning and a clattering keychain clenched in hand, I went to join a group of people for a tour of the New York art scene.

The tour guide led us through a creative maze from one gallery in Chelsea and Soho to the next. The artwork consisted of glass sea urchins, a hand carved bicyle made out of soap, black and white paintings, to life size metal figurines. Although the artwork showcased was unique and appealing to the eyes, I found myself disappointed by the lack of artwork created to implement change. Out of the ten galleries we visited, not one artist dared to address our current war or political issues.

It has been 32 years since the US defeat of Vietnam and it seems as though the terrifying lessons of that war have almost faded from the memories of everyone except the soldiers who served in it and those who bravely protested it. Where are the artists with artwork in galleries who are pushing the envelope; protesting through their mediums of choice, comparing and contrasting lessons of wars past, with the brutal lessons of our war today? As a fellow artist, I think we have a responsibility not to forget the current US war in Iraq is in it's fifth year, it has cost the US taxpayers $459 billion dollars and according to the Pentagon, over three thousand US Soldiers have sacrificed their lives. We must remember that the casualty of war statistics we see on the news every day are not just numbers on a screen, they are people made of flesh and blood; sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, family and friends.

Peace matters, lives depend on it.

When artists, musicians, actors, writers, photographers, painters and anyone who works in the creative community do not passionately address the current events in the world around us, we do a disservice to all humanity. Our artistic gifts are a blessing, through our artwork we remind people of the possibility of the human race to chose a path of creation and healing, not destruction.

About the Writer

Native Texan full of Southern Charm, ;) Art Director and Fashion Photographer with a background in Luxury Apparel. Producer of a Television show called " Art4Charity " that spotlights Philanthropists, non-profits, volunteers, and companies doing positive deeds around the world. Volunteer Art Therapy teacher to homeless children and activist.
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