Sunday, August 16, 2009

Da Nang Marine 1965

Da Nang Marine 1965 24x30 Oil on Masonite

I needed to make some paintings from 1960's Vietnam and this is my third. The inspiration is from a photo I saw somewhere online (where else?) and I couldn't get the image out of my mind.

I tried to have the Marine's expression more tired or weary than sad or depressed. But I guess there wasn't a difference, really, in 1965 "in country".

This fellow has probably seen a lot and been through much that most people can't imagine. Maybe, though, he's pondering the prospect of going home. Going home was sometimes tough; leaving your buddies and/or being exposed to some of that antiwar "stuff" back home.

People back home didn't want (or didn't know how) to talk a bout "the war" so we learned to not talk a bout it. He's in his sixties now - if he came home alive. He probably doesn't talk about those years of his life except in bits and pieces with others that were there and a lot of that communication with "brothers" isn't vocal.


  1. He looks so young and sad, a very poignant piece.

  2. Hi Diana. Thanks for your thoughts on my painting. We were all young then and maybe not so innocent. (?) I still have another one or two to do about Southeast Asia (Vietnam) and then may be I'll be done.

    Ken B.

  3. You really shared "something" on your post... war is not easy to understand, but having been there I guess you see it from another point of view. Your painting says a lot...

  4. Hello Carolina. Thank you for looking at my paintings. It's funny how there are paintings in my head that just won't go away when I try to ignore them.

    Thanks again,
    Ken B.


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