Max Ginsburg, War Pieta, 2007

I was lucky enough to interview Ginsburg when he came to Portland a couple years ago and we discussed this painting that won Best in Show at the Art Renewal Center‘s 2011 Salon Competition. Ginsburg feels that it’s important for artists to deal with the social issues of their time. He paints about war and other uncomfortable truths, and quotes John Keats: “Beauty is truth, truth beauty.”

In this scene a mother screams out in sorrow for the loss of her son, a soldier in the never-ending war in the Middle East. Their bodies echo those in Michelangelo’s famous Pieta sculpture of the Virgin with Christ on her lap after he has been brought down off the cross. In the background we see oil rigs set aflame, reminding us of the real interests fueling the war.

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