Perrenials statement - Francis Palazzolo

Artist Statement

Through dialectics I combine the genre of military art and flower painting in a series of canvases titled “Perennials.” My work traces competing narratives that repeat year after year as the War in Afghanistan drags on: Sprawling fields of poppies are cultivated for illicit opium production to fund a rebel insurgency. Thus, the nexus of farmers, traffickers and the Taliban are the flipside of the American Legion and the Legions of other Western powers which sell imitation poppies to honor and support military service members and their families. While specific to this conflict, I integrate the different storylines into my paintings by attaching petals of paper and silk, black gunpowder, poppy seeds, and bullets. Like flowers that return year after year blooming on their own, these paintings are signs of rethinking the logic of war. Mixing and rearranging these elements on the picture plane reveals alternative possibilities.

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