Description A young Iraqi police officer's body is found in a field outside Mosul.His young eyes closed. He must have endured terrible fear and pain before he was killed. He is another door-another person's life erased by forces far too broad for even the native resident to understand. Another suicide bomber's body parts litter the streets following an unsuccessful attack. This time his head lay as some strange medieval fixture on the rocky ground. A Deuce Four staff sergeant looks towards his medic on a dusty journey through the city streets. The young fated Iraqi National Guardsman stands smiling in the back of a flimsy Nissan pickup seemingly oblivious to the danger that waits in the city. A young Iraqi teen covers his ears as the explosive ordinance team detonates a large IED set in the streets. Another doorway
MARK A. SMITH M.F.A., Indiana Member Since December 2011 Artist Statement **Profits are Used to Research Disabled Combat Veterans** Mark A. Smith AKA "Doc Smith" Combat Veteran, Artist & Advocate
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.