The Achilles and Haditha, oil on board, handmade frame, 31 x 48. I was struck by an incident that happened in 2007 in Iraq where a much loved Lance Corporal was killed by an IED. His unit then went into a berserk-like state (akin to the state of Achilles in the Iliad) and murdered 27 innocent Iraqis as retribution for the loss of their Patroclus.
"The Achilles” refers not to the character but to the archetypal Warrior -- he is half in-half out of the veil of life/a shroud -- neither fully dead nor fully alive. The red ball is a reference to Achilles turning the river Scamander red with blood, offending even the gods; it also serves to reference the game/toys of war.
The frame is based loosely on a Greek classical temple -- the pediment containing the first word of the Iliad: Rage. The text below —the first lines of the Iliad—in ancient greek and slightly obscured as we lose context and meaning and forget the wisdom writ large in dead languages.
"Rage -- Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus' son Achilles,
murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses,
hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls,
great fighters' souls, but made their bodies carrion,
feast for the dogs and birds,
and the will of Zeus was moving toward its end."
- Fagles translation
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