“The Innocent” is an exploration of the psychological impact of conflict from Tunisia to Columbine – from Syria to Newtown.
This is especially relevant in light of our own political discourse in the United States and the violence that has ensued. It speaks to the emotionally lasting impact of violence on an individual and/or population.
“The Innocent” series was inspired by the Arab Spring, with the hope of people deserving to live in freedom from fear and violence.
These paintings explore the psychological impact of aggression demonstrated by governments and militias against civilians – each group for their own gain, all in callous disregard for the lives and welfare of men, women, and children.
The group of Narrative Paintings titled “The Innocent” is a manifestation of this artist’s response, from initial optimism to terminal disappointment. I watched as the Arab Spring degenerated from a people’s optimistic demand for freedom and change, only to witness this hope dissipate into horrific military action against civilians.
Whether it is the Arab Spring or Columbine – Syria or Newtown – all of these events exemplify callous regard for precious life, inflicting lasting physical destruction and emotional pain to the innocents, longing for something better.
We have been numbed to these events by the sheer number of them. Their constant repetition is amplified by our immersion in media, which serves to highlight these events bereft of emotional content.
These paintings represent my attempt to provide an antidote to the emotional Novocain we’ve become accustomed to.
– Barnett Suskind~Spring 2016