Description The Colonel of the insurgent forces in Mosul Abu Taha stares down from above.He is surrounded by darkness and blood.Innocent victims litter in the streets horribly executed.A destroyed mosque lay in ruin and the city in ballistic smoke.Each doorway into an Iraqi home is a detour of possibilities.The young smiling teenage suicide bomber is heralded as a king for the day before he finds his fate in an explosion hoping to kill young American blood.The squad of deuce four soldiers moves down the street casually.The captain stares from within the dusty Stryker vehicle as it patrols the streets of Mosul.Their lives mingle with darkness of the times united in history.
MARK A. SMITH M.F.A., Indiana Member Since December 2011 Artist Statement **Profits are Used to Research Disabled Combat Veterans**
Combat Veteran, Artist & Anthropologist of Art:
I have been absorbed with the subject of war since my deployment to Iraq in 2004. There, I patrolled the streets of Mosul as a medic in an infantry battalion. The tale of that year is one of tragedy and triumph - of sadness and joy, for which I have a lifetime to reflect on the things I witnessed. The images are still vivid. The ferocity of war imprinted upon my mind. I will never forget the twisted steel mixed with fleshy carnage. My heart sinks when I recall a decimated group of children while a mother looks on in horror. The memory bleeds straight through me. In my efforts to find a meaning, I use my art to honor the greatest triumph of the human spirit of these grave moments. This is my role as an artist. My art reveals the cast of characters caught in the drama of war. The tyrants, heroes, villains and the innocent are characters of a drama whose tragic moments ripple throughout my eternity. The motifs of my work share expressions of these experiences. Some are good and some are bad, some deserve honor and must be celebrated.