Warning: Graphic War Themed Content
Looking one part art, one part video game and one part real war, these painting by artist Temme Barkin-Leeds are as captivating as they are repulsive. She believes that if you make art, you should have something to say and in these pieces she certainly does. Part of her Video Games series, the pieces reflect her emotional response to games, like Medal of Honor and Call of Duty, which depict war but, she says, purposely neglect to reveal the true consequences of real world battle. While acknowledging the rush one gets while playing these sort of games, she is also strongly taking a stance against them. She uses imagery from the war in Afganistan, video game stills and other mixed media in her creation process:
I work into the image with paint and collage, splattering paint, scraping, dragging, and using sand and blood as signifiers for the real-life violence that is omitted in the game imagery. Ironically, this very active act of throwing and scraping paint is a kind of violence in itself. It expresses my own anger, anxiety, horror, and repulsion. This process also reconciles my disgust and abhorrence of the games, with an understanding of the rush that comes with playing them. My paintings are both harsh and alluring.
Whether you agree with her message or not, the paintings certainly do strike a powerful chord, leading one to question the value of war themed games or more importantly, even war itself. See more in the series at temmebarkin-leeds.com
For many, this art will seem very comparable to the irreverent and now taken down Google Shoot View Mashable covered last week. A mashup of Google Street View and a first person shooter, it’s a different message but similar concept: