100 Faces of War Experience: Portraits and Words of Americans Who Served in Iraq and Afghanistan

Location:  , MA
Project Description: 

"100 Faces of War Experience: Portraits and Words of Americans Who Served in Iraq and Afghanistan" creates a large survey of the American personal experience of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, using tools of sociology, participant generated content, and and the intimate environment of traditional portrait painting.

The project, when complete, will consist of one hundred 26"x30" traditional oil on canvas portraits of Americans who have gone to war in Iraq or Afghanistan. Each portrait is accompanied by a text authored by the person pictured about their experience of war. The people pictured are chosen for their ability to represent the full diversity of the American involvement in the wars, and each painting is created out of a personal meeting with the artist. Posthumous portraits are included and for these portraits the family chooses the statement which accompanies the portrait and the artist talks with and works with the family.

Because each participant is asked to provide something new to the content of the project and often they use this opportunity to in some way react to previous statements in the project, the 100 Faces project has become a many years long collectively generated narrative of the total American experience of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Each statement is limited to 250 words or less so that a viewer can contemplate the relationships between many of the texts during a single viewing. All the portraits and statements are kept together and displayed as a single entity.

The setting of the exhibition is intended as a location for and a catalyst for continued public dialogue.

The work started in 2005 and in September, 2011 50 portraits are complete.