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Images via the artist at SERWAN BARAN
CANINE
By Serwan Baran

Composed of works titled "Canine," "Hounds of War," and "Hounded," Canine—as its name suggests—is a series of paintings that revolve around, and reflect upon, dogs and, in particular, their capacity for aggression. The canine has long been a common subject in the artist's work, which features the animal in a variety of contexts and mediums. However, upon observing the ways in which American military personnel used dogs to intimidate detainees in Iraq's infamous Abu Ghraib prison, the artist began to perceive the animal as an instrument of cruelty. Characterized by their abstract style, rough brushstrokes, and bold, vivid palettes—which at times replicate the colors and patterns of military fatigues—these paintings construct a reality that is inherently threatening and which speaks directly to the brutalities of war, detention, and occupation.


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