My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

"War Days" at the Cygnet Theatre

"War Days", 2006, 36"x48", mixed media on canvas

The war in Iraq has been an important recent source of inspiration for many of my paintings and digital pieces.Through my process of simplifying images, I try to provide a view of the essence of the event, moment, or place to connect ordinary people to extraordinary situations. Showing this series of work in conjunction with “Dying City”, a play by Christopher Shinn, directed by Francis Gercke, at the Rolando Theatre, is an exciting experience for me.

"Middle East", 2007, mixed media on canvas, 36”x60”

So much is said and discussed about the Middle East, and there have been so many attempts, and so many failures, at peace. The text contained within the painting provides a rather formal description of the region and why so many conflicts have occurred there. The viewer of this piece may recognize within the text many familiar words that come to mind when reflecting upon the region in question. The children and women of the Middle East have paid, and continue to pay, a heavy price as a result of these conflicts. And these prices are primarily a result of the significant reserves of oil that have placed the region front and center in the world economy.

"Landscape (here)" and "Landscape (there)", 2008,
acrylic on canvas, 2 x[30”x30”]

Eyes expand

Through landscapes that hold no desires
Through the plane vying with the cloud for beauty
Through the death that gestates in its hold
Through the gut of a painting
Through the painter’s fertility

Ivan Sigg, March 25, 2008
(English Translation Gabrielle Kauffmann)

"x-POW Edgar Hernandez, Iraq, 2003", 2006, 12"x12", acrylic on canvas

Edgar Hernandez was just months from concluding his military career when he was swept into war. On March 23, 2003, enemy forces ambushed his U.S. Army maintenance company in Iraq. Afterwards, Hernandez was one of 12 members from the Fort Bliss, Texas-based 507th Maintenance Company to be listed as captured, killed or determined missing. Three weeks later, Hernandez was one of seven missing U.S. troops freed by advancing U.S. Marines north of Baghdad.

"Ex-POW Shoshana Johnson, Iraq, 2003", 2006, 12"x12", acrylic on canvas

In Iraq on March 23, 2003, U.S. Army Spc. Shoshana Johnson was captured by Iraqis just days after the war started. Her company was ambushed and she was one of 12 from her group to be captured, killed or determined missing. She was eventually rescued April 13 after 22 days in captivity and is now out of the military.

"Jill Carroll, Iraq, January 2006", 2006, acrylic on canvas, 12”x12”

Painted while Jill Carroll was a hostage. American reporter Jill Carroll was set free Thursday, March 30, 2006, in Baghdad, Iraq, nearly three months after she was kidnapped in a bloody ambush that killed her translator. She said she had been treated well. Carroll, 28, was dropped off near offices of the Iraqi Islamic Party. She walked inside, and people there called American officials, Iraqi police said. "I was treated well, but I don't know why I was kidnapped", Carroll said in a brief interview on Baghdad television.

"Here it’s Peace", 2008, mixed media on canvas, 36”x60”

An aura of empathy unites them
Their eyes gape at the world

Their pupils dilate their bodies

Absorbed in the moment

In the generous light of day

The juice of being flows through them

Ivan Sigg, March 25, 2008 (English Translation Gabrielle Kauffmann)

Ivan Sigg is a French poet/writer/painter and a very good friend, who wrote a series of short poems especially for some of my paintings.

"March 17, 2008", 2008, mixed media on canvas, 36”x36”

March 17, 2008, was a “normal” day. I chose it randomly. I copied all the headlines from CNN online and stamped them in the background of the painting. On top of the portraits, I stamped again some of the words. But despite the litany of the words we all hear every day when we listen to the radio or when we watch the news, we are living our daily lives.

Here is the beginning of the text in the background:
"Updated 7:03 p.m. EDT, Mon. March 17, 2008 - Latest News - Poll: Three-quarters think U.S. in recession - Ticker: Obama confronts racial rhetoric head on -Seventh body pulled from crane collapse site - American film crew kept from China protests - Olympic boycott possible? - Stakes are enormous in Iraq for McCain - Iraq war and your family - Ex-Beatle to pay $50M in divorce settlement 39 min - Up to 14 tornadoes hit Atlanta - Foreclosure family forced to live in camper8 women win $276M lottery - Pilots investigated for falling asleep - Gas spikes to $5.20 a gallon at one pump - Online campus gossips won't show faces - Naked man runs amok in grocery store - Majority of Democrats prefer Obama - New York crane collapse caught on camera - High-speed chase - No new primary for Florida Democrats… etc..."

There is no opening night
for the show, the paintings are viewable in the lobby of the theatre every days except Mondays and Tuesdays. The theatre opens every day at noon.

Cygnet Theatre Company/ Rolando Theatre
September 27 - October 26, 2008

6663 El Cajon Blvd, Suite
San Diego, CA 92115
(close to San Diego State University, off Interstate 8)

1 comment:

Ivan Sigg said...

I have read your post
and found my poems between your paintings
Thank you dear Michele.

however, we may discuss, if you want, about the vision of war you give us, and more generally the vision of conflicts (couple, war, politics, religious) you are fixing on canevas.

Krishnamurti, Schopenhauer and Nietsczche, help me, these three last years, to see the world in its totality and to understand that the conflict is inside me.