I participated in a group show this past March called "Art Of War" at Studio One Eight in Washington D.C. This show marked the three year anniversary of the Iraq Invasion and features work inspired by our current political and cultural situation in a time of conflict. Below is the artist statement which accompanied my piece:
The painting "Our New Republic" is the product of reflecting and responding to the US policy and tactics in the Middle East over the past 5 years. My precedent initiated by revisiting the First Navy Jack flag (“Don’t Tread On Me”) in an effort to comment on how this administration, since 2001, has reshaped and reformed the meanings associated with our nation’s language and symbolism in order to execute an economic and military agenda.
A militant and hard-nosed American patriotism has propagated in this nation. Since 911, our leaders have adopted an “us versus them” mentality in their global war on terrorism. In their pursuit of the “enemy”, the United States has imprisoned a handful of enemy combatants and hundreds of innocent people. Our military, in their effort to restore “peace” and “freedom” to the Iraqis has killed thousands.
My concerns are with the future of not only our country but of our international community. Our administration’s actions and policies over the past 5 years have not mitigated any threat towards our country and people, but have instilled resentment, fear, and hatred towards The United States for millions abroad. This administration will long be out office when the real repercussions come to light.
It seems as though our government’s true agenda is not to grant freedom and democracy to the Iraqi people but, through military occupation and a cast of political puppets, to colonize and control one of the most volatile and wealthy corridors in the Middle East. Our government has no “Exit Strategy” because we will be setting up new corporate and military headquarters soon enough.