Description The ghostly Saddam Mosque glared down upon the Iraqi Guardsmen. It had been a hiding place for insurgents to detonate that have killed many.Children laugh gleefully at the camera. They do not know what lay within the streets of their city. Another suicide bomber smiles for his last picture. He stares down the canyon of terror.He does not know.The fading bull as the crescent moon rises.We are eclipsed. Our eyes just a sliver. The oily black darkness entangles the couple.Their arms reach out for something to hold on to. The monster insect does not understand the singularity of the face.The mask cannot see the many. The young soldier takes aim but he is shooting into thin air. He shoots into the blue square pointing to the four corners of the world.The conflict is invisible and misunderstood. Its true origin a mystery.
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.