Title

Air Raid

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Student Art Exhibition Year

2016

Description

Oil painting on canvas depicting an air battle, measuring 61x91 cm.

Purchased from the Ursinus College Student Art Exhibition for the permanent Library collection.

Rights

Copyright of the underlying work is held by the artist. The digital image presented here is for educational purposes only and is not for commercial use.

Comments

Artist statement:

My painting is meant to serve as a commentary on our societal romanticization of war. The sky looks aesthetically beautiful, but it is simply a distraction from the firebombs and destruction below. This piece represents our simultaneous fascination with and detachment from the grotesque nature of warfare.

In the piece I chose to include an excerpt from Stephen Crane’s poem, War Is Kind:

“The unexplained glory flies above them.

Great is the battle-god, great, and his kingdom—

A field where a thousand corpses lie.”

Crane’s candid but ironic reference to “A field where a thousand corpses lie” reveals a cynical perspective behind the illusion of glory. His reference to a “battle-god” as great mythologizes the idealism of war and subsequently calls attention to the problematic nature of war’s glorification. Romanticizing warfare perpetuates the continuation of violence and undermines the brutal realities faced by its victims. These ideas are especially relevant in the context of American society because of our self-indulgent patriotism and dominating military presence.

Library Location

2nd Floor

Keywords

student art, 2016, painting, oil painting, airplanes, war, sky, clouds, Stephen Crane, poem, text

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