Fire & Ice On Exhibit

A few weeks ago I mentioned that the primus inter pares Marine combat artist, CWO2 Mike Fay would be exhibiting some of his best works at the Michener Museum in Doylestown, PA. That hour has come; his exhibit opens today and runs through 21 October. As an added bonus, he’ll be giving an artist’s lecture on 10 July. For those who live in the area, that would be an event not to be missed.

I, being a powerful and influential member of the milblogging/milhistory/milart milieu, received an invitation to the exclusive opening last night, but alas, was unable to attend. I do plan to get up there and see the exhibit though, and I encourage all of you to do so as well.

Below the fold I have three (3) of his best with a little scratch art criticism of my own. Let it never be said that I don’t have a sensitive side.


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This is my wife’s favorite, a watercolor. It depicts Marines on the approach to an attack on the city of Ubaydi, on the Euphrates in Anbar province. In his own description, Mike said that he wanted to evoke the silent march and the clouds of fine dust that the Marines’ footfalls raised. To me it also foreshadows the reckoning to come; the insurgents sleep under the moonlit minarets while their “no worse enemy” is on the march.

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This is a classic Fay. The shadows in his drawings and paintings become figures themselves, and these demonstrate the vehemence of the desert sun. The face on the figure in the background at first seems cartoon-like, crudely drawn, but this is not the case. He captures the expression the Marine wore, an effect which would not have conveyed if he had drawn the features with detailed fidelity.

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This is my favorite, Guardian Angel. Mike said that this is one of two that stop people in their tracks at exhibits. I can see why.