A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

the art of war

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on February 27, 2009

For the past several months, I have been resisting the urge to shop. Its easier than I thought: I’m parsimonious by nature, and the current size of my closet (small) and bookshelves (ditto) are further disincentives.

But Sporty Diamond turns 30 tomorrow, and in search of a treasure for her, I have been doing some serious hunting online. And since we have overlapping interests, shopping for a gift for her has led to some sideline searching for objects of interest to me. Its a slippery slope, as they say …

Thus I found myself the other day typing “Lebanon painting” into Ebay’s search engine – after, I must confess, first typing in “Beirut painting” (which produced one wan seascape) and “Damascus painting” (which produced nothing). When shopping, I take a spray the field approach.

What came up was this:

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Its beautiful, isn’t it? Vibrant colors and a mountainscape, all for $6,499 + shipping. Would you like to know its title? The painting is called “Lebanon War 2”, and the artist is an Israeli man named Dan Rapaport. (You can see the full listing here.)

Rapaport has evidently done several pieces that reflect on the war, including an intellectually thoughtful but artistically naive sculpture depicting the exchange of rocket-fire through arrows and the war’s net effect through the number zero. (You can also purchase this sculpture on Ebay.)

This isn’t a negative post: I’m certainly not against Israeli artists reflecting on the 2006 war. But it does return me to a question I had after watching Waltz With Bashir, whose soundtrack featured something totally new to me several songs with a Lebanon theme. I don’t know anything about the degree to which the Lebanon invasion and occupation has become a theme in Israeli art and music, and I would greatly appreciate tips on where I might go to learn more.

One Response to “the art of war”

  1. Nimrod said

    War is a major issue in Israeli society. Being a nation reborn after exile-diaspora-holocaust-wars, most people are already born with PTSD, and fine-tune their genetic anxiety throughout life.

    Art is one of the more common ways to self analyse our complexes. I don’t think there is even one artistic venue left unexplored in the on-going search for answers. War has been artistically debated in the cinema, theatre, literature and music. It has been portrayed on canvas, in stone, metal, wood and pottery. Poems have been written, decommissioned tanks welded, dead bodies photographed, and even goats recorded, all in the sake of artistic introspect.

    Strangely, war-art is usually considered left wing. Right wingers probably express themselves better on the streets and in the soccer stadiums, but still there is very little art glorifying war. Most war songs either mourn the dead or tell stories of camaraderie, not victory. Maybe it’s because most people have personally experienced war, and won’t buy the crap.

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