LIFE DURING WARTIME | ROMEO ALAEFF

“Life During Wartime” is an exploration of how pervasive fears (whether real, imagined), create a pretext for defense mechanisms, hyper-vigilance and militarism. Inspired by global shifts towards a “culture of fear” and “risk society,” especially post-9/11, the project explores the mechanisms which cultivate fear, whether it be of a foreign power, terrorism, outbreaks, financial collapse, global warming, or even personal failure, injury, old age, and heartbreak.

What happens when the perceived need to protect oneself, one’s values, or one’s country, becomes a ubiquitous state of mind? How are statistically improbable threats exploited for ratings, profit or political gain? In what insidious ways does fear manifest in daily life, at the ballot box, or in relationships?

Instead of attempting to illustrate these kinds of questions, however, the work aims instead to engender a sense of mystery and uneasiness, only inferring that something might be wrong. Taken together, the work depicts a simultaneously ominous and banal landscape against which an implied narrative unfolds – a narrative which becomes intertwined with the viewers projections, a priori assumptions, narrative leaps and predispositions.

Life During Wartime consists of watercolor paintings, charcoal drawings, charcoal airstrike drawings, and a photo project called “Insecurity” which documents and compares security apparatuses and officers in three countries: the United States, Germany and Israel, each of which has increasing challenges balancing security with civil liberties.

Materials | Watercolor on prepared panel. The gesso on this work was specially formulated to allow for the application of watercolor washes on canvas and panels. The wood panel was sealed and coated to prevent support induced discoloration. A final application of Polymer Varnish with Ultra Violet Light Stabilizers was applied to ensure preservation.

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Project StatusArtwork AvailableProject TypePainting | Drawing | PhotographyMediumsWatercolor | Charcoal | Digital

Original artwork available in the store.

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