Paintings from the Mexican Drug War

“If we share a brotherhood of man, then we also share an insanity of man,”
Author Stephen King

The 2012 US Presidential debates covered International politics but never once mentioned the Mexican drug war. All the while large parts of Mexico are under siege by drug cartels warring over trade routes and fighting the Mexican government. With exception of those US citizens close to the border – the majority of the US is left ignorant and blind of the turmoil south of the border.

Molly Molloy, a researcher at New Mexico State University who maintains the Mexican news and discussion site Frontera List, has kept a detailed record of the bloodshed and estimates that the total homicides from December 2006 through June 2012 to stand at 99,667. Many more people are unaccounted for and listed as missing…never to be heard from again. This is more than the total number of US servicemen killed in all the wars from Vietnam to the present. In addition this number is nearing the total number of servicemen killed in World War 1.

Today drug cartels commit atrocities of epic proportions. Acting freely and with impunity, uniformed and masked men, indistinguishable from Mexican soldiers and police, block roads and set-up check points.  Torture, beheadings, dismemberment, and kidnappings are a daily occurrence.
I long to paint pretty flowers but my heart can’t allow this when the soil in which these flowers grow is drenched in blood.
The paintings here displayed are the first pieces of my series Paintings from the Mexican Drug War, which is an examination of the Mexican Drug War and its effects on Mexican Culture and the repercussions on the populace in Mexico and the US border areas. Using depictions of the horrors and icons characteristic of  the drug war, I seek to confront the viewer with the bitter, shocking realities and pain of Mexico’s current landscape in hopes of stimulating a dialogue.
Gary-Paul Barbosa Prince