Fine art from the ashes of war

rady-saddam.jpg Iraqi artist Wisam Rady has produced a remarkable painting of post-capture Saddam Hussein. 

Wisam is now painting openly what he could only paint in secret. For years, Wisam painted pictures of Iraqi suffering. But did it out of sight, in a dark seventh floor apartment–where Saddam’s henchmen could not see him.

During those years, his daytime job as an editorial cartoonist for the Al Jumhuriya newspaper was to glorify Saddam. His painting was a secret protest, seen only by friends and fellow artists he could trust.

This painting is not only beautiful, it symbolizes for me the potential that thousands of other creative people could achieve if they could overcome the degradation they have succumbed to.

How many other talented people are prostituting their abilities to sell products that are harmful or habit forming? There are also those who use their talent to create propaganda or to incite hatred.

When I see a painting like this, I think there may be hope for those who now waste their talent on unworthy tasks.

Kevin Sites, a freelance solo journalist currently on assignment in Iraq, has written an insightful post about this work on his personal blog. His discussion of Wisam and his art is well worth reading.

Thanks to BoingBoing for the link.

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