NEW YORK.- Each day thousands of images depicting scenes from the war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan are flashed around the world by electronic and print media. American painter Steve Alpert has decided to depict the war with a different approach one that slows down this frenzy of images and personalizes it. Drawn from photographs taken by soldiers while in the field, the paintings provide close-up views of the day-to-day conflict, encouraging viewers to stop, look and think.
On June 9, eight of these paintings will be auctioned off at a black-tie fundraiser called the Salute to the Wounded Heroes, to benefit the Fisher House Foundation. The event will take place in Gibbs Hall at Fort Monmouth , New Jersey . All funds raised from the sale of the paintings will be contributed to Fisher House, the non-profit organization which provides temporary, privately-supported housing near the US Militarys medical centers around the country to present military or veterans families whose loved ones are hospitalized.
The paintings on view at Fort Monmouth are part of Through Their Eyes, a new series by New York City artist Steve Alpert. After painting scenic landscapes for decades, Alpert has devoted this series to creating pictures from the war zone. The canvases recreate some of the scenes recorded on camera by America s soldiers. The paintings range in size from 14 inches by 18 inches to a huge, 36-inch by 72-inch canvas showing a helicopter flying across a blue desert sky streaked with red. Alpert views the works as honoring each of the American men and women who are serving in the military. Alpert was inspired to paint the series after visiting wounded soldiers recuperating at the Walter Reed Medical Center near Washington , D.C. Alpert decided to visit the medical center after listening to former radio host Don Imus relate his own story of visiting the army hospital.
Im donating these paintings to Fisher House out of a deep sense of gratitude, understanding and appreciation, said Mr. Alpert. My images include a mix of Black Hawk helicopters and combat scenes that were recorded by American soldiers serving in Iraq . I believe the paintings convey powerful messages and speak for themselves. Hopefully, they will spur others to recognize and thank our returning service men and women for their sacrifices.
Steve Alpert, 55, began his career as a television journalist with CBS, then worked as an independent, documentary and industrial video producer in New York City before turning to his art full-time five years ago. Alpert has been represented in solo and group exhibitions at galleries throughout the U.S. , including recent shows at Beacon Fine Arts, in Red Bank, NJ and Sargents Fine Art in Maui , HI . Alpert lives in Manhattan and has a studio on Eastern Long Island .