This painting of a suicide bomber was created because I felt the need to make a statement about the hideous idea of killing in the name of God. As an atheist, I find the idea that humans will take a religious point of view and then use that to kill others absolutely abhorrent.
Suicide bombing is a new atrocity perpetrated by people of the Islamic faith. Having read the Koran, I believe that it is a discriminatory, intolerant, violent and often contradictory piece of writing. I chose this particular quote because it is just the sort of thing that would have been taught to this young man.
I believe in non-violence and freedom of speech (amongst many beliefs) and what I have done is take an image from rotten.com and added the Koranic text to create the final composition. I neither perpetrated this foolish act nor wrote the Koran, so if any Muslim/s find themselves offended then so be it. It wasn’t created with the intent of insulting any person at all (offence is always taken never given). It was, however, designed to say the following – Stop this disgusting violence in the name of God.
When I first came across this suicide bomber image, there was some text explaining the story behind the image. The photo was taken in Iraq by the soldier who shot him. The suicide bomber was walking up to a roadside checkpoint shouting “Allah Akhbar” (God is great), and despite being given several warnings, he continued. The result is as you can see.
I spent 215 hours painting this and thought a lot about the human whose name I don’t know, who’s ‘portrait’ I was now painting. And I genuinely felt sorry for him because he has made a stupid (and very morally wrong) decision at the point he has decided to put on that bomb vest. He’ll never achieve his martyrdom, and he’ll make little impact on the occupancy of the American armed forces and worst of all in the name of God he thought he was doing God’s will.
Source image: rotten.com
Chapter 9:111, The Koran
God has taken from the faithful their lives and worldly goods, and in return has promised them the Garden.
They will fight for the cause of God, they will slay and be slain.
Such is the true promise which He has made them in the Torah, the Gospel and the Koran.
And who is more true to his pledge than God?
Rejoice in the bargain you have made.
That is the supreme triumph.
Materials: Acrylic on MDF board
Dimensions: 110 x 120 cm
This painting is available for purchase for the princely sum of $1500 + shipping.
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