Subjects of War
War is not just violence on the field of battle, but permeates our domestic environments. The paintings in this series depict both interior and landscape scenes both with and without figures.
My goal with this series is to connect everyday life with war subjects; what might appear to be simple is not so simple. Some of the works are inspired by family photos; my son was deployed 8 times to war zones while he served in the army. Some are also inspired by my own military experience. Most are compositions merging images from a variety of photo sources to visually capture the complexity of conflict.
Distortion and abstraction play an important role in the styles presented in these works. Some subjects are treated with fine detail and a more realistic rendering; in the same work are areas that show exaggerated shadows, shapes, and very little detail, appearing almost unfinished or blurred. My techniques lend to the overall concepts I want to embed in the paintings: the juxtaposing of opposites (light/dark, vibrant color/dull color), the vagueness and lack of clarity in the narratives presented, and the inclusion of everyday emotions running the gamut from laughter and hilarity to anger and boredom.
Today’s wars are complex affairs. The black market, secret agreements, and unpredictable shifts in political leadership and global economies fuel and support many conflicts today. Providing arms to specific groups raise concerns about the weapons potentially being stolen, given to a corrupt cause, or falling into wrong hands. Changing notions of concepts of different religions adds to the complexity. Huge amounts of money cross borders via complex agreements; taxes of citizens not only support war and violence, but also provide humanitarian aid to allies.
Whether firing a weapon in the Middle East, showing a trainee how to pack bottled water on a pallet to be dropped off a plane, or watching a reality show in our living room overlooking the Front Range of Colorado, we are all part of today’s war machine. My paintings try to capture aspects of that machine and all of us who experience it in various ways.
– Pam Chadick-Aloisa