Art magazine -- online article
-- online review
Boston Globe (Sept 3 2004)
far from Madison Square Garden, "The War Room" covers
all four walls of a small gallery space with black-and-white images
of soldiers, witnesses, and victims. Painted by William T. Ayton,
it recalls Picasso's Guernica, which Ayton says became his inspiration
after a reproduction of the giant antiwar mural at the United
Nations was covered up for a speech by Colin Powell last year.
"It is an homage to Guernica, and to artistic freedom during
wartime especially, and to the power of art to move us politically,"
said Diana Ayton-Shenker, the exhibit's curator and the artist's
wife. A former human rights activist, Ayton-Shenker said, "I'm
drawn to the power of art to move people, to go beyond dry rhetoric
to the emotional level, which is where I believe real change happens."
the media, we see numerous images of war, but we never see ourselves
staring at the TV screen. The numb, stunned faces of "The
Witnesses" remind us of our own tortured responses to a war.
"The witnesses are us - the American people," I observed
to Mr. Ayton. He replied that all four panels - warriors, victims
of war, watchers, and a destroyed landscape - are us.
Journal (Aug 27, 2004), the website of the WSJ's Editorial
Advertiser/ Register Herald
Taconic Press Weekend
UPDATES AND RELEASES
War Room will be featured in an article in the magazine Direct
Art, volume 12, which will be on sale in late 2005
/ early 2006. More details to follow.
of The War Room (NYC) & an interview with the artist
may be featured in an upcoming documentary about the relationship
between art & politics, entitled "Art Rules".
More details will be posted here when they become available.
War Room -- full-scale installation: Manhattan (Imagine Festival),
August 26 (opening reception), 2004. Dates: 8/28 - 9/30 2004. Location:
gallery, 208 West 37 St, NYC.
War Room -- small-scale installation: Albert Shahinian Gallery,
Poughkeepsie, NY, opening August 21, 2004.
We are currently
talking to venues about installing the complete War Room.
Check back soon for details.
the turn of the century, when I entered the Army, the target was
one enemy casualty at the end of a rifle or bayonet or sword. Then
came the machine gun, designed to kill by the dozen. After that—the
heavy artillery, raining death by the hundreds. Then, the aerial
bomb, to strike by the thousands, followed by the atom bomb explosion,
to reach the hundreds of thousands. Now, electronics and other processes
of science have raised the destructive potential to encompass millions.
And, with restless hands, we work feverishly in dark laboratories
to find the means to destroy all at one blow. This very triumph
of scientific annihilation had destroyed the possibilty of war being
a medium of practical settlement of international differences. War
had become a Frankenstein's monster to both sides. "No longer
is it the weapon of adventure whereby a shortcut to international
power and wealth—a place in the sun—can be gained. If
you lose, you are annihilated. If you win, you stand only to lose.
No longer does it possess the chance of the winner of the duel—it
contains rather the germs of double suicide." Abolishing war
was "the one issue upon which both sides can agree, for it
is the one issue—and the only decisive one—in which
the interests are completely parallel. It is the one issue which,
if settled, might settle all the others."'
From "American Caesar: Douglas MacArther 1880-1964" by
William Manchester. Thanks to M. Toscano for sending the quote.
of the Propaganda of War group show (Oct-Nov 2003,
Washington DC), which contained several pieces on this site.
Project Grant awarded to The War Room by Dutchess County
Arts Council (NY State).
drawing "War" published in Fall 2003 issue of The
large (4' x 6') paintings from the War Room ("The Victims"
& "The Witnesses") plus drawing "Collateral"
displayed in Washington D.C. exhibit, "Propaganda of
War", organized by Triangle Artists Group / Warehouse
Gallery. Click here
NYFA (New York Foundation for the Arts) awards fiscal sponsorship
to The War Room, enabling the receipt of tax-deductible contributions.
Article "Art As Activism" (written by the artist) published
in "The Citizen" magazine ("The Nation's Politics
in the Hudson Valley") including images from The War Room and
the UDHR series. Click here
to read the text.
Room website officially launched. Click here
for the press release.
of The War Room Project website launched with links to the ayton.net
drawing is exhibited in Gallery
218, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as part of the "War And
Peace: Artists' Voices" exhibition.
for "The War Room: The Witnesses" is featured on wnyc.com,
in "The Art of War" online show (gallery two of that exhibition).
Project conceived and initial sketches completed.
several of the images related to The War Room can also be
seen on The
Hammond Gallery, along with an extensive portfolio of my