Hidden Scars: The Art Of Ptsd

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Gonzalez, Gabriel
Walt disney; tattoos; ptsd; trauma; jesse smith; jeff soto; war; war paintings; veteran
thesis / dissertation description
Through the use of mixed media, I explore imagery that reveals the trauma of returning combat veterans, of which I am one, as we try to reintegrate into a society that does not understand the war that still lingers within us. In my work, I depict emotional disturbances that are related to my personal encounters with war. My working process starts by referencing mainstream media imagery, which I juxtapose against harsh images inspired by veterans' drug and alcohol use, trauma and death. My black-and-white pixelated paintings feature the fragmented memories of a hostile combat environment, and although "Out of My Mind" depicts the chaotic emotions associated with PTSD, my whimsical style of illustration suggests a detachment from reality. Whether we call it shell shock, battle fatigue or PTSD, the war-related disorder is real. I want society to be aware of the hidden scars that our veterans carry with them. I do not anticipate my subject matter changing any time soon.