PAUL ABRAHAM | MILITARY
Information on the activity
April 10, 2014 to May 10, 2014
The MILITARY series consists mainly of large drawings on paper composed with a mixture of chalk, acrylics, ink, and gold leaves. It was inspired by murals depicting the glories of war. Throughout my work, one can find an archetype that provides a continuing leitmotif: The Superhero. For me, this symbol of our society’s fascination with power and machismo represents a transformation of everyday life into the world of power fantasy, embodied by the superman.
It demonstrates how we, as human beings tell ourselves stories to come to terms with our mortality – a condition that fundamentally challenges our illusions of power and beauty. In our desire to deny death, we surround ourselves with beauty that evokes immortality. What we call the “art of war” is endorsed by the war hero, his chest covered with medals, carrying the flag of conflict, power fantasies, and the idolization of strength and violence that are an integral part of our history. These values have been taught to us through images, history books, poems, songs, legends, and narratives orchestrated on canvasses that magnify the heroic acts and triumphant battles – and, in so doing, transform the horrific reality behind war into art. Ancestor of the super hero, the knight without fear and reproach justifies the indispensable “sacred” aspect of crusades and war. Like the war hero of today, he is the propaganda tool who will facilitate the recruitment of young soldiers to join the fight. He is beautiful, he is young, and he symbolizes courage and immortality.