Artist Statement: I have just finished a painting comparing the
recent history of Iraq to the Epic of Gilgamesh (Leader of ISIS). Abu al Baghdadi created ISIS in Abu Ghraib Prison in Baghdad and when released, caused thousands of deaths. Baghdadi was brought down by an American Army dog called Conan. The newspaper headline Read ZERO BARK THIRTY.
Saddam Hussain's favourite movie was 'Conan The Barbarian' with Arnold Schwarzenegger. I painted a mural of Arnold flexing his muscles on the wall outside the Arnold Classic Gym in Baghdad to greet US forces as they entered the city. Back in 2003 in Baghdad, I did a drawing of an Assyrian God disregarding the value of human life and the reference was to Saddam. Now in 2020 I have added Conan and it refers to all the lives that have been wasted since George Bush set the world on a course towards unending war. Little is left of Nineveh where these Gods were carved in granite as guardians of their ancient city. Baghdadi's followers went at them with sledge hammers, explosives and bull dozers and then the American bombs turned it all to rubble in the final assault against ISIS, I will go back soon to find what is left.
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 91 x 75 cms
CHG Director's Statement: George Gittoes is a renowned Artist and Film Maker he has filmed in some of the world's most fierce and dangerous war zones but Englewood on Chicago's south side may be his most dangerous work to date.
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