Description A tribute to Simon Wiesenthal and his book by the same title; a story about an incident that occurred during his imprisonment in a Nazi concentration camp. On his way to clean medical waste at a converted army hospital for wounded German soldiers he observes, 'Our column suddenly came to a halt at a crossroads. I could see nothing that might be holding us up but I noticed on the left of the street there was a military cemetery . . . and on each grave there was planted a sunflower . . . I stared spellbound . . . Suddenly I envied the dead soldiers. Each had a sunflower to connect him with the living world, and butterflies to visit his grave. For me there would be no sunflower. I would be buried in a mass grave, where corpses would be piled on top of me. No sunflower would ever bring light into my darkness, and no butterflies would dance above my dreadful tomb.'This profoundly powerful account portrays the internal conflict Wiesenthal experiences when a dying Nazi soldier earnestly seeks his forgiveness, The Sunflower provokes introspective discussion about forgiveness, justice, mercy, and human responsibility. Because hes a Jew, a nurse escorts Simon to the bedside of a dying Nazi solider. The soldier recounts his involvement in the horrifying death of a father, a mother, and a dark-eyed child who are brutally shot down after jumping out of a burning building. The soldier begs for the forgiveness of a Jew. The irony of this dying soldier's confession arises from the fact that 'a murderer who did not want to be a murderer but who had been made into a murderer by his murderous ideology' was admitting his crime to a man that may die by the hands of these same murderers at any time. Struggling through this tragic and ironic dilemma while thinking of the dark eyed child that he knew, Simon leaves the soldier in complete silence. Leaving the hospital he sees the sunflower growing beside the grave of a Nazi soldier.
I.M. Spadecaller, Tampa Bay Member Since March 2010 Artist Statement Matthew Schwartz (AKA Spadecaller) is a grateful survivor who conveys his convictions and serenity through visual art, poetry, and video.
As a child, he was trained in traditional oil techniques and later attended The School of Visual Arts in New York City (1970-71). During the 70's up until the late 80's he exhibited acrylic and oils in New York, and presently resides on the west coast of Florida.
Since the advent of image editing software, he has turned more to creative digital hand painted images and photos striving to fuse these into an art form worthy of the distinction traditional painters deserve.
Spadecaller showcase his digital paintings, poetry, and other mixed media images by creating videos; these are available for viewing at: http://www.youtube.com/user/Thespadecaller.