When stationed at COB Spiecher in 2007 my commander and first sergeant gave me some time off from work by making me the company artist. I made several murals, I painted the command center and the different platoon offices. I designed the company coin, and deployment t-shirt. This sign is for the company command center, it has the company seal, which is the First Armored Division Dorito chip with the Military Police Harpers Ferry pistols crossed in the back. The sign also has the names of the commander and first sergeant.
This mural is my favorite piece from this period in Iraq. At the time I painted this I had little art education and I didn’t know what cubism was or what style this was painted in. At that time, I was a medic with a chance to paint for a couple weeks to break up the monotony of the deployment. It was a cool thing that my commander and first sergeant did letting me paint. I can’t believe they pulled one of their few medics off the road to do what? paint? I am going to be forever indebted to them for that. They said paint something on this wall, and I said ok, and I literally just started drawing on the wall. I didn’t necessarily put all that much thought into what anyone was going to think, frankly I didn’t really care, I was telling the story behind my life at the time.
At this time we felt like we were walking around all day like a drone just giving out candy to faceless little iraqi kids. The children would cry out “mista mista”, they were funny little guys. The kids would kick us their soccer balls, and chase after our trucks begging for candy. There were so many that thru all kinda just started to blend together. This painting is just kind of expressing the general feeling and tempo of the day to day. There also is the obvious color palet and the giant silly sun in the foreground, I just wanted to goof around. I wanted to make everyone a little mad with the style. It is not good art if people can predict what you are doing. I was known for drawing realistically and by painting a bunch of blocks it irritated all of the right people.
This other picture is obviously the next section of the wall, this section was between the CPT and the 1SG’s offices, it was one of the more uncomfortable places to work, especially when you don’t really dig confrontations with authority. They let me paint, but they could also make me get them coffee and to-go boxes from the chow hall. This section of mural is more representative of what the drawings and paintings looked like over the rest of the company. This more of a graphic style and was more of what they were expecting. This image is of the soldier and his battle buddy going around a corner with all the high tech gear, the high speed sunglasses all set in a realistic space.
I really enjoyed the experience of painting these paintings, and it was a break from myself.