NEW YORK, NY – Two weeks before the Paris terror attacks British artist Piers Secunda traveled to Iraqi Kurdistan, to take casts of ISIS bullet holes from front line villages, recently liberated from ISIS by the Peshmerga (Kurdish military).
The first work of art made with these bullet hole casts will be on view at the Context Art Miami Fair courtesy of Thomas Jaeckel, the owner of 532 Gallery in New York City.
Secunda is unflinching about his willingness to take huge risks to gather the material needed to make his art (a mortar exploded after they entered the village of Abu Hamed, near Daquq) Secunda says, “There are some things which I think are important enough to record, that I’m willing to take the risk. ISIS is one.”
In a previous group of works from 2010, Secunda cast Taliban bullet holes from suicide bomb attack sites in Afghanistan. These works of art were described by Phaidon art book publishers as “The most directly inspired pieces of art we have seen on the Afghan conflict.”
One of the organizers of that project, Sardar Ahmad Khan, was executed by the Taliban along with his wife and two children, in an unrelated mass shooting at the Serena Hotel in Kabul in 2014.
The ISIS bullet hole paintings are part of an ongoing series of works of art made by Secunda since 2009, which capture bullet damage from around the world in forensic detail. The current ISIS works acknowledge the destruction of ancient towns and cities in Iraq and Syria by using ancient reliefs to portray the violence carried out by ISIS. Maria Böhmer, Chair of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee said recently of the destruction of ancient sites by ISIS: “This cultural cleansing is inflicting deep wounds on the culture, history, tradition and souls of the people of Iraq, the entire region and throughout the world.”