EQUUS SERIES 2009, gouache on archival digital print/Hahnemühle, 15 x 8 inches each.
In the EQUUS series, mangled machinery — the aftermath of VBIED’s (Vehicle Born Improvised Explosive Devices)— serve as pedestals for painted silhouettes of equestrian statues. Lands from Iraq to Afghanistan are linked by the continuous horizon behind these steeds while the identities of their riders vary from nationalist liberators to clerical commanders to conquering emperors. Whether villains or good guys, they represent those who use violence as means to an end. The easy reverence they elicit as monuments belies the empty heroism that history sometimes exposes but more often forgets. Emerging from the black voids of the silhouettes, horses’ tails come to life as sensuous appendages that are impossibly long and knotted. They get trampled by their own bravado, and caught in the machinery.