Saturday, May 8, 2010

Portrait of a Soldier as a Young Man

C.J. Reilly III doesn't really paint walls. He has never bombed a subway car or scaled a building to leave his name on the rooftop. He is a fine artist and even finer humanitarian. CJ joined this trip to work with the children and to help heal wounds with art.

What he found out was that, although covered in a uniform and holding a weapon, the boys and girls of the IDF are merely children themselves. 18, 19 and 20 year olds with dreams of the future and a belief in right and wrong and honor and justice.

So, CJ took his time to draw the portraits of as many of these boys and girls in grown-up clothing as wanted. He gave them these pictures, representations of a few minutes of time when they were more important than politics and they were more beautiful than the ugly war.

Funny story: CJ was loved by most, except for one Platoon Commander who got very offended that CJ stared into his eyes. CJ explained that he draws from the spirit and the spirit resides in the eye. The Commander acquiesced.

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