Inspired by the experiences of Jared Rinehart

"The Long Road Home"

Jessica “JB” Burke
12″ x 12″ • Mixed Media on Canvas

Artist Statement

This painting is built as a portrait of lived experience. Portraiture hinges on the question of who deserves to be shown. Beginning with religious and royal iconography, produced under systems of patronage, portraits were meant to immortalize the divine, powerful, and wealthy. This portrait is meant to examine mortality and sacrifice as a currency in our contemporary culture. Jared’s story was a powerful example of commitment, sacrifice, trauma, honor and challenges of being a veteran. I wanted to honor his experience through an unconventional memento mori portrait using a series of symbolic references to my interpretation of his narrative.
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Small Talk With God

by Cameron Lovejoy

I am Marine I am to mar a battalion a lion I am trained a contract a pen gun combat when I sign away my rights to a singed design I’m here to kill you die don’t dissuade me for red white blue pill stop hitting yourself stop hitting your self I laugh as the vein in my temple jumps
my finger inching closer to the steal curve
but I feel no better no bigger a man as Marine not even proud but still I train to kill swallow different pills & psilocybin just to see
if something new comes up nothing
but once a message dmt mgmt suggesting go jungle so I do my ridiculous valor insidious to volta a turn for the worsen to be better than but I am only built to kill for you to die I try this new diet ayahuasca scar tissue on the sniffy nose a plant in a cup I go asunder a soft frenzy at first then up to god fists up! bile of brain matter of what is exactly the matter entangle mental breakdown in the forest of Peru melting further into dark horror the intramural awe a helm carved into my skull she sits robed quiet hair a trailing plant skin a green coiled suit
of moss & leaves are you done yet? I want her dead punches gunfire a weapon dismantled assembled in less than ninety seconds thrashing vines
trash her house entire wreckage of my age
maybe I am a stubborn warrior but I keep stamping her terrarium shatter a tantrum of the weak now fatigued limp slumping at her feet breathing deep—death is part of the language now part of the diet now she bends to me in one piece in a whisper inside me transmitting listen now that you’ve seen what surrender is maybe we can talk