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Baghdad Journal: An Artist in Occupied Iraqby Steve Mumford
Synopses & Reviews
An explosive conflict, as seen through the eyes of a war artist.
Bagdad Journal is the outstanding culmination of four voyages to war-torn Iraq by artist Steve Mumford. In the long tradition of war artists, particularly Winslow Homer's work for Harper's Magazine, Mumford meticulously documents the everyday scenes of Iraq in bold, breathtaking watercolors and drawings and paints a human side of the war that can be lost in the immediacy of photographic and broadcast images.
Not overtly political, Bagdad Journal presents portraits of life from all sides of the polarizing conflict. With sketch pad and notebook in hand, Mumford illuminates the routine activities of a nation in turmoil-from the individual soldiers of American platoons to Baghdad residents going about their daily lives amid the chaos surrounding them.
There will be a traveling exhibit of artwork from Baghdad Journal and presentations by Mumford on his Iraq experience in conjunction with the publication of this book.
"With countless war accounts already in from Iraq, it's refreshing to get this dispatch told, from the perspective not of a journalist or a photographer, but of an artist. Mumford, a New York City painter, first arrived in Baghdad in April of 2003 and spent about a year there, and in other cities, accompanying U.S. troops on patrols, raids and combat missions. But the most arresting images in this illustrated journal come from his more mundane interactions: with people in cafs, at a meeting with a local imam, at a galley favored by local Baghdad artists. Mumford writes that, for him, 'the act of drawing slowed down the war, recording the spaces in between the bombs,' and it is through these spaces, the day-to-day of life in a country where life runs minute-to-minute, that Iraq and its war become illuminated in a way that we rarely see. At first glance Mumford's watercolors carry something of the hasty urgency of courtroom art, but this impression is soon belied by the images' depth of feeling and nuance. Accompanying the watercolors are passages from his journal, written in a lucid and reflective style that perfectly matches these quiet spaces pushing out at the surrounding chaos. His is a remarkable document. 6-city author tour. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The outstanding culmination of four voyages to war-torn Iraq by artist Steve Mumford, this work meticulously documents the everyday scenes of Iraq in bold, breathtaking watercolors and drawings and paints a human side of the war that can be lost in the immediacy of photographic and broadcast images.
About the Author
Steve Mumford is a New York City-based artist with the Postmasters Gallery in Chelsea. He has had numerous exhibitions, including five solo shows, since the late 1990s. He has taught at Cooper Union in New York and Montclair State University in New Jersey.
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