Archive: Art in Iraq
Steve Mumford’s paintings depict what happens in war-torn areas

Steve Mumford’s paintings depict what happens in war-torn areas

Steve Mumford - The Prayer, 2016, oil on linen, 121.9x152.4cm
Steve MumfordThe Prayer, 2016, oil on linen, 121.9×152.4cm

Many artists often find that they have to immerse themselves in the landscapes and the environment that they paint. This not only helps when capturing the true essence of the subjects to be featured in the art, but it also helps the artist gain a deeper understanding of the subjects in regards to their feelings, emotions, and opinions.

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Iraqi painter depicts the impacts of war – Hayv Kahraman

Iraqi painter depicts the impacts of war – Hayv Kahraman

Hayv Kahraman - Curfew, 2015, Oil on linen, 185x244cm, courtesy the artist and The Third Line
Hayv KahramanCurfew, 2015, Oil on linen, 185x244cm
Courtesy the artist and The Third Line

Hayv Kahraman was born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1981, moved to Sweden at the age of 11 and began painting at the age of 12. She uses art in various ways to create something that is extremely unique and catching. Kahraman’s artwork depicts the impacts of war, significantly the affect on war women. Her diverse stylistic references range from Japanese and Arabic calligraphy art nouveau, Greek iconography and Persian miniature.

Hayv Kahraman’s work contends with the marginal spaces between Western and Middle Eastern culture, including the physical traits and the concepts of gender through her individual histories as an Iraqi immigrant to Europe then to the United States. Her work has intertextual notes of the Western and Middle Eastern art histories, but her personal aesthetic, as an immigrant, is of her very own and belongs to neither.

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Suicide car bomb from Iraq turned into art piece – Jeremy Deller

Suicide car bomb from Iraq turned into art piece – Jeremy Deller

 Jeremy Deller - It is what it is- Conversations About Iraq, 2009, at Joy in People at the Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre,  Photos: Linda Nylind
Jeremy DellerIt is what it is- Conversations About Iraq, 2009, at Joy in People at the Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre
Photo: Linda Nylind

Why did Jeremy Deller bring a suicide car bomb to museums?

In the Imperial War Museum in London, surrounded by some of the most powerful military hardware of the last 100 years rests a rusting, crumpled car. This is a clear example of what war does. The car is a piece by Jeremy Deller and was a car that was contorted in a street bombing that killed 38 people and wounded many more at Baghdad’s Al-Mutanabbi book market. Al-Mutanabbi book market was at the heart of Baghdad’s cultural and intellectual life.

The car serves as a sobering reminder of the consequences of war on civilians, the toll it takes on lives, the destruction and devastation that comes with every act of war. The artist, Deller, won the Turner prize in 2004, is best known for recreating the Battle of Orgreave from the miners’ strike.

The visual destruction and devastation on the vehicle are only small and representative compared to the destruction and devastation in people’s lives, especially those who are in war-torn countries. Lives are lost and destroyed, worlds and realities become twisted and mangled, and families become broken. Deller’s piece is a gateway into the hurt, harm, and brokenness that comes with war. The fact that this piece is held at a war museum is also extremely significant.

This piece serves as a discussion piece, arguing different sides and aspects of war- this piece is simply what we need more of. Thought-provoking, raw, emotional, and profound- it takes the audience’s thoughts in different directions as they inspect the twisted metal that was once a fully formed vehicle, maybe like their own. It takes the audience to a place of realism and realization and takes something that is often out of sight and out of mind and places it directly in the guest’s line of sight.

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