What is Conflict Art? This sub-genre is any type of graffiti, painting and marking on any unconventional surface located in conflict zones. The Graffiti of War Project has been collecting and documenting this art for over 18 months through individual submissions through our website, Facebook page and through our recent expedition which took us to Kuwait and Iraq. Our focus is to capture images of this art before it is lost in the ever-changing environments that are active combat zones.
This Conflict Art provides a unique glimpse into the emotions of war giving civilians far removed from the horrors of war an inside and individual perspective of combat. Never before has such a collection of amazing and incredible existed in one place. We have thousands of images of art, many of which no longer exist physically on this planet due to destruction, elements or by other means. We are committed to saving these images for future generations to contemplate and study.
Conflict Art on Display
Unconventional Medium - Graffiti Canvas
During our opening show, with the help of one of our sponsors, Kelly Line, Inc., we developed a new type of medium for our exhibit, what we call Graffiti Canvas.
This canvas looks remarkably like concrete, in fact, we received dozens of comments and some of the guests of our show thought we brought these murals, on concrete, back from Iraq and Afghanistan.
If we used a different, more mainstream medium for showcasing this art, much of the appeal would have been lost. Because these pieces look so much like the original work done overseas in combat zones, it provides for an amazing show.
Jason Nicholson is an aspiring military artist from Pennsylvania whose work captures military engagements and brings them to life on canvas. Currently Jason is involved with the Navy SEAL community and works with families of fallen SEALs to forever embed their sacrifice through his work. Nicholson currently has work featured in the UDT/SEAL museum and the SEAL Heritage Community Center. For more information you can contact Jason Nicholson on Facebook or visit his website at www.JasonNicholsonArt.com
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Served in the U.S. Navy from 2005 to 2009. During that time, Matt was stationed onboard the USS Iwo Jima LHD-7. Working down in the engine rooms as a Machinist Mate (Snipe) operating its high-pressure boilers and steam turbines. Matt served two deployments in the Persian Gulf conducting maritime operations and supporting both the 24th & 26th Marine Expeditionary Units.
Art has always played a great role in Matt's life but never as a means of personal gain, only the satisfaction of using his talent for the greater good. His inspiration comes from the enjoyment his work brings to others, this being the sole motivator in what he does. He currently resides in Michigan, with his wife Alycia and their daughter Elizabeth, working as a power plant operator in downtown Grand Rapids.
Matt is creating a piece specifically to commemorate the Graffiti of War Project which we will unveil during the Exhibition in Pennsylvania. For more information on Matt or how to request a custom art creation, email email@example.com.
Bryan McGhee, originally from Los Angeles, CA, he spent 27 years serving our Nation in the US Army, retiring in 2010 as the Brigade Command Sergeant Major.
Bryan started painting over 14 years ago after seeing a Bob Sneed Buffalo Soldier rendition. This resulted in his first painting, depicting a Buffalo Soldier which won the US Army art competition and is now on permanent display in the Museum of the Non-Commissioned Officer at Fort Bliss, TX.
Since then, Bryan has created many paintings, most of them were given to his soldiers as gifts when they changed duty stations. The only original he has left is the painting called "Frontier Focus".
In addition to his talents as a painter, he is also an accomplished drummer and has played in numerous bands throughout the US and Europe. Bryan comes from an artistic family, his uncle is the late Bob West who wrote the hit "I'll Be There" for the Jackson 5. One of the highlights of his career came when he had the awesome privilege of playing for the Temptations on their European tour.
We are honored to feature the prints and original work of CSM (ret.) Bryan McGhee. For more information on CSM (ret.) McGhee and how to pre-order his prints or commission a custom piece, please email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Born and raised in Cibecue, AZ, located on the White Mountain Apache Indian Reservation, Jeff began drawing at a very young age and since growing up on an Indian Reservation was not easy, he found himself using art as an escape. Never imagining art beyond providing him solace, this changed dramatically once he decided to fulfill the childhood dream of serving my country, taking on a new meaning to him and pushing him in a new direction.
Jeff joined the US Army Reserve in June 2010 and was assigned to the 98th Expeditionary Signal Battalion in Denver, Colorado. During his initial training, he found himself drawing as an escape from the daily grind. Something happened during that time which caused him to become more passionate about his art, shining through his creations and convincing Jeff to pursue a career in art. Jeff’s first commissioned piece was for a Gold Star Sister, her brother was KIA. Upon completing this piece and giving it to her, Jeff was certain the path he had chosen was his destiny. Though still serving our nation in a time of war, not knowing where his service will take him, art remains his comfort.
Click HERE for Jeff Stephens Custom Art & Design
Clayton Murwin is a freelance graphic and comic book artist. In addition, he is also the Founder and President of a non-profit organization, Heroes Fallen Studios, Inc, a 501(c)(3) veteran based charity supporting our Nation’s troops.
At present, Clayton is working on a graphic novel project entitled Heavens’ Gate, written by novelist Jeffery Brown. He currently lives in Timberville, Virginia and holds a degree in computer graphics and design. Though he spends his time working with the Housing Authority as a maintenance tech, he also works as a freelance artist in his spare time. His first published work in comics was for an independent publisher, Red-Zone comics, the title of the book, Mind Hunter Omega. Clayton is credited as the co-creator and developed all of the art, inks, lettering, coloring as well as some of the story editing. Clayton is currently working on Volume II of Untold Stories from Iraq & Afghanistan.
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Zoriah, a critically acclaimed photographer with over 14 years of experience shooting conflict, crisis and disasters in developing countries. Winner of the VII Portfolio Contest, the Morepraxis Photogournalist of The Year Award and included in World Picture News' Most Powerful Imagery, Zoriah's photography has been praised by critics since receiving a coveted spot on the Songs of The People tour in 1992. Zoriah's work appears in publications such as Newsweek, The New York Times, BBC News, The United Nations, CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, NPR, Focus, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Grands Reportage, The Guardian and many others across the globe. For more information on Zoriah, visit www.Zoriah.com.
Nelson Pantoja - Toothpick Artist
Nelson Ulysses Pantoja was born in 1963 in the Bronx of Puerto Rican descent. His father was a Vietnam veteran and he witnessed firsthand the struggles of the war on the face and actions of his dad. His mother was sick most of his life, she lost one lung to Tuberculosis, had breast cancer surgery, but remains in his eyes, the bionic woman. It was through these hardships, Nelson became the amazing artist he is today. For more information on Nelson's art and his incredible talent visit his website, www.ToothpickArtist.com or send him an email at email@example.com.
Jessica Dittbenner was born in Kansas City, MO, and grew up in Lenexa, KS. She is the daughter of Steve and Lynn Dittbenner, two graphic artists from Kansas City. Jessica has served in the US military for 13 years, deployed to Iraq three times while serving in the Air Force in 2004 and 2005, and two times in the Army in 2007 and 2008. She spent time in Baghdad, Balad, and Mosul, Iraq during her deployments. Then spent time in Afghanistan working as a contractor in 2011. Currently she is assigned to the 1st Attack and Reconnaissance Battalion in the Missouri Army National Guard and is planning to become an Apache Longbow Pilot.
For more information on how to pre-order prints from Jessica, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Our first local national artist, Mr. Hussein currently resides in Iraq. Much of the background and location of Mr. Hussein cannot be made public for OPSEC reasons (send request to email@example.com for specific information on Mahmood's backgroud, subject to restrictions). Mr. Hussein has an astonishing story of how, under the Saddam regime, he was imprisoned because of his artistic rendition of the chemical killings he witnessed in Kurdistan. We are working with Mr. Hussein to showcase his art and help him earn a living again through orders of his art To order prints of hiswork email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rob Bates is a Marine infantryman, member of the International Society of War Artists (ISWA), and a 2006 graduate of Art Instruction Schools. In April 2011, a cache of Rob's work was voted into the National Museum of the Marine Corps Combat Art Collection in Quantico, VA. Later that year, his art made national headway in: The National Review, Leatherneck Magazine,& The Great American Country Channel (GAC). Rob is married and resides in North Carolina.
You Can Find His Work at www.rb-portraits.com
Austin was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and attended school over and joined the Marine Corps as an Infantry Rifleman after graduating in 2007. After completing 2 MEUs (Marine Expeditionary Units) from the period of 2008-2009, visiting such countries as Thailand, Philippines, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Jordan, Qatar, Bahrain,
and Okinawa Austin deployed to Afghanistan with 3/5 Lima Co. on September of 2010. After returning in April 2011, Austin was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in June of 2011.
Coming from a large family, Austin is the 3rd oldest out of 8
boys. Austin started drawing at an early age, copying his older brothers who were very influential to him. In his spare time he liked to draw, read, body-board, spearfish, and basically everything that concerns a beach. Not the best student, Austin decided to join the Marine Corps partly out of patriotism
partly because he didn’t know what to do with his life. At present, Austin lives in Hawaii and works as a Cable Installation technician for Interlink Communications LLC.
Scott Macaulay grew up on both coasts of the United States. His father's work had his family traveling frequently during his childhood.
This went a long way to developing his talent, as he would use his
creativity for escape and to make friends quickly. He completed high school in New Hampshire and began art school at Maine College of Art in Portland, ME.
After two years of foundational art training, he decided studying wasn't enough and left school to travel the US and Europe. From California to Germany, Scott used his art in many capacities, but never focused on it, having so many interests. He seemed to resist the calling taking up many trades. As a welder, he began sculpting. As an IT person for FEMA, he took up computer graphics. It became apparent that there was one constant in his life, his art, even meeting his wife, Lori by using art to woo her over.
Even in the Army, his talent didn't stay hidden long. He often drew tattoos for his buddies. When the opportunity to
represent his Battalion with a t-wall mural in Kuwait came along, he couldn't resist the opportunity. That was his first major Army work for which he received an Achievement medal and a few challenge coins from CSM to Battalion Commander. After the word was out, more requests for art started coming down from higher up, until he was a victim of his own success and taken off the line to HQ. There he did commissions for the Company and Brigade commanders, his First Sergeant, and the Brigade CSM. He received more medals and coins, but he was never more proud of the coin he received from the
Brigade Commander that was unrelated to his art at all, but for his performance on a combat foot patrol in Iraq.
“I didn't join the Army to do art, but I ended up doing
it anyway", stated Scott. So it was, after he was honorably discharged in 2011, he decided to commit fully to his art career. Scott is living happily with his family in California and is attending the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.