Sculpture | Middle East

The intentional destruction of art and antiquities in the Middle East moved me to create a special series of pieces addressing the atrocity. Based on spectacular bas-reliefs from the 9th century BC, I sculpted a portrait of an Assyrian King that symbolizes both the art and people of the region.

After casting the sculpture in concrete and bronze, the fragmented portrait emerged as a blank canvas. In one edition the beauty and humanistic qualities of the figure are disrupted and defaced by barbed wire, signifying the brutal and continuing struggle facing the region. In a statement of hope and optimism however, the Arabic word for “peace” is spray-painted on the side of the base. In another edition, graffiti covers the entire sculpture in a statement of nonsensical destruction. Colors and symbols of war and hope intermingle in conflict across the surface.

As a boy I read C.W. Ceram’s Gods, Graves, and Scholars, and it sparked a lifelong interest in archaeology. I hope this work serves to reinforce the power and importance of the world’s cultural heritage.