Our Greatest Foe.

'Our Greatest Foe' follows the impact of war on the faceless individuals that that fight for it, and those who flee from it. Though war and conflict may appear to change form over its many years of documentation, the premise is very much the same. The war process can be glorified without bringing to light its ultimate effects, effects which remain consistent across all decades, societies, races, and places. All of the pieces, though created based on a specific time, place, and war could just as easily represent another. The courage and valiance of the soldiers before and during the heat of battle is contrasted with the war's vicious aftermath. All of the war's participants are presented as faceless individuals, or as people devoid of individuality that could tie them to a specific real life person. By removing the individuality from our perception of war, we enable ourselves to distance ourselves from its gruesome realities, and be less affected emotionally because we are less able to relate to an indiscernible individual. These faceless individuals represent a conflict between a species that should be united. What has been gained? What has been lost? Regardless of the place, the people, or the time, we are shown as fighting ourselves. How can we ever move sufficiently forward if we never cease attacking ourselves. We are our own greatest enemy. 

This piece presents a simple yet chaotic aspect of war. The people are presented as solid colored humanoid figures. The robe depicts several different battles separated by thin black lines. When first viewing this piece, which strikes you as the enemy? Who is more just in the attack? The painter belonged to the side painted in red. In most of the battles, they are shown as being far outnumbered. The nature of the format of the piece requires the viewer to come close to view intricacies of the piece and battles and look at it from a variety of angles if they are to truely understand the piece.
These dark figures crouch in the dark recesses of the space. The lightest aspect of the picture is the clothes they wear. They almost blend into the background of the piece. The picture represents the darkness of their current and past situations. Though the war has ended, they continue to hide, surrounded by a darkness that will not soon leave them. Their faces remain in the shadows, revealing, not the importance of the individual, but the situation of a whole. This is not simply the plight of a single individual or family, rather its influence stretches far beyond.
Each individual depicted stands in the same way, with a similar sense of excitement expressed in the demeanor of their gestures. They are all almost solidly colored except for the symbols on their torsos that remain specific to each individual. They each hold two weapons of three different varieties. They embody the excitement that is a precursor to the war, an excitement that has not yet borne witness to the horrors of what is to come. The style is very rough as if to exaggerate their movement and inability to stay as they are, both in a physical sense and in what caused them to progress to war.
The piece is colored with very harsh strokes of dark blues and reds. This gives the view a very hazy unclear feel. The masses are cowering in the edge of the forest, pushed back by the man in the hat holding what may be a whip. Each figure has a very simple face with three large dark circles for eyes and mouth. This simplicity adds to the horror and sorrow that each being pictured is currently experiencing, as though they have a void in which all that is not the war or current dilemma is swallowed up.
The minimal color choices allow for the purpose of the piece to be clear without being overshadowed by other aspects of it. By leaving some of the subjects the same color as the background of the piece, with only black outlines to show their existence, it shows just how easily someone can disappear. By simply squinting we become unable to view those who once seemed so prominent in the scene. The only person in the piece to have a skin color that is not simply the background of the piece is what appears to be a woman in the middle of the scene. Additionally, though a small amount of death is depicted in the scene, there is no blood or gore.
The impact of war stretches far beyond the battlefield. It is a vicious game of strategy that requires a ruthless attack of not only those who are participating in the war, but also those whom they are related to and things they rely on for survival in modern day society. This was an event of the civil war. By destroying this train, we were, in effect, attacking our own progress. Who's problem is it when the war is over, and the two sides have reunited? Regardless of who is on which side, we are ultimately at war with ourselves as the human race.
The group of soldiers stand close and strong, clutching their weapons to take down the single unarmed enemy. They stand in the shadows, identities unbeknownst to the world, enveloped in a bright red. They are the war. The peace lies in the solder that flees with the man, who from the small amount of details available, appears similar to the man being shot down. They stand in a bright blue that creates a high contrast between the war and the peace. Peace holds his weapon up in the air whereas war continues to point the guns at the "enemy" despite the lack of danger.
Few of the many fallen soldiers represented in this photograph. Even the closest soldier is unrecognizable, all that is known is that he was one of the many who were lost. The bodies grow smaller in the distance, losing their importance and place in the scheme of the war and the world. They become one with the backdrop of the war. Their lives are lost yet the war continues as if they had never been. By placing this piece after the man in the process of falling, it continues the motion and illustrates the inevitable reality of the soldiers' situation.
This image portrays a large group of soldiers marching blindly into battle, forced to embrace the unknown of the future as shown by the smoke of the fight. Just as many of the soldiers from the actual battle may never know why they were fighting. Often battles are fought for a higher power individual or group, but those who are actually doing the fighting are not truly connected to the issue. To those who desired the battle, each individual of a given side is simply a pawn or another form of displayed power. The removal of the soldiers from the problem at hand.
This massive piece is meant to shock the viewer with the massive, yet somehow usually overlooked, impacts of war. Each individual stands almost as tall as a person in real life. All the soldiers depicted wear the same uniform and bare the same injury. Though this scene is true to real life events, not a single person in the piece could be deciphered as a specific real life individual. Those who are trying to leave must be led out blindly into the world that neither understands what the individual went through, or what they must continue to go through long after the war has ended.
Warriors of the past often wore armor and clothes that added dignity to our concept of war. In some case,s it was the most respectable thing they could do, depending on the culture. Willingness to make a sacrifice for the greater good is certainly a quality deserving of respect. However, we have become a bit too entwined, too willing to make this sacrifice. We may jump to the conclusion of war when the situation does not necessitate it. In some cultures of yore, dying in battle was considered the most honorable way to die. It was a statement of identity and a way of proving themselves deserving of a place in a respected afterlife.
This piece serves to portray the severe disconnect between the reality of those in charge, and those who serve them. It also illustrates the impact of peace directly alongside the impact of war within the same society. The prosperity, growth, and abundance as opposed to the death, sadness and chaos. The piece is quite complex in its line work and depiction of the scenes but lacks any color that may have benefited the viewer's understanding of the two contrasting scenes. During the time of peace, the ruler sits on his land, luncheoning and waited on by his many servants. During the time of war, however, only his castle is seen.
This piece incorporates a wide overarching sense of mourning. Not only due to the fact that it depicts a massive amount of graves that entirely lack any personal identification but because of the colors and approach in creating it. The color palate is dull, and the place depicted is very much lacking of life. A few solitary figures stand reserved in the distance. The brightest color in the scene is the small amount of green foliage in the background. The sky gives the appearance of a setting sun as if the time of these individuals has come to a close.
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