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The Storyteller: “Iraq” by Steve Mumford

July 8th, 2010

Selections from Steve Mumford’s series Iraq, are on display for a limited time at the AGO.

Steve Mumford
13A3, John, a contractor, giving a firearms class to Iraqi police in
Khalis, July, 2004. The Iraqis had to be convinced to replace the
rifle stocks on their AKs
(from the series Iraq, 2003-05), 2004
Watercolor and ink on paper
12 1/4 x 15 3/4 in.
Courtesy of Postmasters Gallery, New York

Steve Mumford is an American artist based in New York.

In 2003, dissatisfied with the superficial reporting on the war in Iraq, Mumford traveled to the war-torn country armed with his sketchpad. The result is a series of lyrical watercolors and ink drawings that depict his experience of daily life in and around Baghdad including images of military actions, oil fields, and mass graves, as well as encounters with Iraqi artists, local workers, and the serene countryside.

Mumford’s Baghdad Journal sets these drawings in context, providing personal anecdotes and stories shared by his friends and companions that establish a more intimate vision of the conflict than the one shown in the news.

As Mumford puts it: “If photojournalism captures a decisive moment, making a drawing is more about lingering with a place and editing the scene in a wholly subjective way… For me the act of drawing slowed down the war, recording the spaces in between the bombs.”

Twelve works from the series are on display at the AGO as part of The Storyteller exhibition, which runs until August 29, 2010.