The poet’s rifle is a rose

»The poet’s rifle is a rose«
Arturo Laime

»The poet’s rifle is a rose«, 2019, acrylic on wood panel, 75 x 54 cm

»Because he played the war of men
making a rifle out of anything besides a rifle.
That day he was armed with a rose«
(Chabuca Granda)

This is part of the lyrics of a song written by a beloved Peruvian folk singer. When I created this painting, I remembered her lyrics while seeing in the news the never ending conflicts in the world, especially in the Middle East. Millions of refugees are living now with us in Germany, and they tell us the horrors of the war they flew off. Soldiers forced to kill their own people, civilians trying to survive the best they can, many men without any training joining a rebellion armed with weapons they can find or make. All of them fighting the faction they see as their oppressors.

At that time in my life I was taking difficult decisions that inevitably will hurt someone. I knew i needed to act, but I didn’t want to do it. I saw myself as a soldier forced to shoot in order to stay alive. I observed then, that this dichotomy of aggressor and victim is not so black & white as people want to think. Many times the attacker is haunted by his decisions, specially when the victims are kind, and oblivious to the forces that want to destroy them.

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